Roman Petushkov picks up third Sochi 2014 gold

Russia took home all the medals in the men's 12.5km sitting biathlon on Day 4 of the Paralympics. 11 Mar 2014
Alexey Bychenok, Roman Petushkov and Grigory Murygin

Russia's Alexey Bychenok (left), Roman Petushkov (centre) and Grigory Murygin celebrate medalling in the men's 12.5km sitting biathlon event on Day 4 of Sochi 2014.

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"I can't believe I won .It's my second gold medal and it's great because it's a home Paralympic Games."

"I always feel doubt, but everybody tells me I can do it. I hope I will win gold in another race."

Russia swept the podium in the men’s 12.5km sitting biathlon on Tuesday (11 March) at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, as Roman Petushkov furthered his winning streak by taking his third gold in as many events.

Clocking in at 34:48.8, the 36-year-old has quickly become the host nation’s face of Sochi 2014 after having entered these Games with eight world titles, but no Paralympic titles.

Petushkov’s teammates, Alexey Bychenok (35:29.7) and Grigory Murygin (35:59.6), took silver and bronze to complete an all-Russian podium.

"Today I spoke to the guys and told them that we would share the podium,” Petushkov said. “It was a joke, but now it's true.

"I don't think that the weather is bad. It's Russian weather, especially for biathlon. We are like soldiers and can race in any weather, it doesn't matter.”

Germany’s 22-year-old Anja Wicker won her first career Paralympic gold, taking first place in the women’s 10km sitting biathlon in 32:54.4.

"We played some billiards yesterday to relax. Apparently, I wasn't too good at it so I saved that for today,” Wicker said after the race.

"I need some time to realise what just happened. I kept looking at the results board in the stadium but I couldn't believe that it was my name up there in first position.

"I kept thinking there has to be someone else who will finish ahead of me. To be honest, I didn't even expect a medal today, let alone the golden one."

Russia’s Svetlana Konovalova (33:36.7) picked up her third medal of Sochi 2014 and second silver, and Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Pavlenko (34:22.6) took home the bronze. That left the race favourite, Ukraine’s seven-time biathlon world champion Olena Iurkovksa (34:49.2), in fourth place.

The women’s 10km standing title went to Russia’s Alena Kaufman (29:57.1), who now has two golds in Sochi, while Ukraine’s Oleksandara Kononova (30:33.7) took silver and another Russian, Natalia Bratiuk (30:57.6), finished in bronze-medal position.

"I can't believe I won,” Kaufman said. “It's my second gold medal and it's great because it's a home Paralympic Games."

"I always feel doubt, but everybody tells me I can do it. I hope I will win gold in another race."

In the men’s 12.5km standing, 18-year-old Azat Karachurin (29:30.0) pulled a surprise by winning gold ahead of Norway’s three-time world champion Nils-Erik Ulset (30:24.6) and Canada’s world champion Mark Arendz (30:31.0).

The host nation’s Mikhalina Lysova (30:11.5), guided by Alexey Ivanov, picked up her second medal of the Games, taking gold in the women’s 10km visually impaired biathlon ahead of teammate Iuliia Budaleeva (30:38.9). Ukraine’s Oksana Shyshkova (35:01.4) grabbed her first Paralympic medal, taking the bronze.

In the day’s final competition, Ukraine’s Vitaliy Lukyanenko (31:04.0) raced to gold with guide Borys Babar in the men’s 7.5km visually impaired event to increase his collection of Paralympic titles to three. Russia’s Nikolay Polukhin took silver, with Belarus’ Vasili Shaptsiaboi (31:59.0) grabbing the bronze.