The Russian men and Ukrainian women proved their strengths on the snow during the Biathlon portion of the first International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Nordic Skiing World Cup event of the season in Sjusjoen, Norway.
The Biathlon competition ran from 10-13 December, and the event will conclude with the Cross-Country Skiing competition from 15-18 December.
Russia’s Paralympic Games silver medallist Roman Petushkov and four-time Paralympic Games gold medallist Irek Zaripov finished first and second, respectively, in the Sit Ski Pursuit, just 38 second apart. They also claimed the top two spots in the Sit Ski 7.5k.
In the Sit Ski 15k, Petushkov claimed his third title, and while Zaripov took fourth, another Russian, Alexey Bychenok, stole second.
Kozo Kubo of Japan finished third in both the Sitting Pursuit and the Sitting 7.5k.
In the men’s Standing/Visually Impaired events, Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset took the crown in the Pursuit, with Russia’s Kirill Mikhaylov finishing second and Canada’s Mark Arendz taking third. Mikhaylov won the 7.5km and was followed by Arendz and fellow Russian Vladislav Lekomtcev. Arendz also won the 15km, finishing just ahead of Ulset.
On the women’s side, Ukraine’s 15-time Paralympic Games medalist Olena Iurkovska and Lyudmyla Pavlenko took the top two spots in the Sit Ski Pursuit, and they finished third and first in the 12.5k, respectively. Iurkovska also won the 6k event and Pavlenko finished third, just 1 second behind second-place finisher Andrea Eskau of Germany.
Poland’s Katarzyna won the Standing/Visually Impaired 6k and Finland’s Maija Jarvela finished second. The pair’s results were flopped in the Pursuit. Iuliia Batenkova had another top performance for the Ukrainian delegation, winning the 12.5k.