Russia dominates cross-country at Nordic Skiing World Cup

The Russian nordic skiing team smashed their competitors in the first IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup event of the 2012-13 season. 13 Dec 2012
Irek Zaripov celebrating after winning a race at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games

Irek Zaripov of Russia celebrates.

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Russia again swept the medals table at the first event of the 2012-13 IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup in Vuokatti, Finland. In fourteen races, Russia picked up nine gold, nine silver and seven bronze medals.

Russia now leads the World Cup ranking with 2955 points. Ukraine has 1233 points and Belarus 494.

In the women’s visually impaired 5km classic and 5km free cross-country, all three medal positions were taken by Russia. In both races, Elena Remizova, guided by Natalia Yakimova took gold. Iuliia Budaleeva guided by Tatiana Maltseva was second, and Mikhalina Lysova won bronze with guide Alexey Ivanov.

The Russian men had a near-perfect record, taking at least the top two spots on the podium in every race.

The men’s sitting competition would have been an all-Russian affair had Norway’s Trygve Steinar Larsen not won bronze in the 5km freestyle event. Russia’s Roman Petushkov took gold and his teammate Ramil Ilalutdinov was second.

In the 10km classic, Petushkov was pushed back into third place, but Ilalutdinov kept his silver. Their teammate and Paralympic champion Irek Zaripov won gold.

In the men’s 10km classic and 10km free visually impaired races, it was Nikolay Polukhin and Stanislav Chokhlaev’s time to shine. Polukhin, guided by Andrey Tokarev, picked up two golds and Chokhlaev won silver twice with guide Maksim Pirogov. Sweden’s Zebastian Modin and guide Albin Ackerot took bronze in the 10km classic race, whilst Belarus’ Vasili Shaptsiaboi guided by Mikhail Lebedzeu won bronze in the second race.

Russia’s Rushan Minnegulov won both the men’s 10km classic and 10km free standing events. His teammate Vladislav Lekomtcev won silver in the former, with Finland’s Ilkka Tuomisto taking bronze. In the 10km free, however, Lekomtcev had to settle for bronze after his teammate Vladimir Kononov took silver.

The Ukrainian women dominated in the standing events where Paralympic champion Oleksandra Kononova and Iuliia Batenkova won two golds and two silvers respectively. Russia’s Anna Milenina won bronze in both races.

Other countries got a look-in in the women’s sitting events. Germany’s Andrea Eskau won the 5km classic and 2.5 km free, whilst Norway’s Mariann Marthinsen won silver in both races. In the 5km classic, Ukraine’s Olena Iurkovska took bronze and her teammate Lyudmyla Pavlenko came third in the 2.5km free.

Sweden triumphed in the mixed class team relay, with Ukraine and Russia taking silver and bronze respectively. Russian dominated the open class team relay, to take gold and silver, and Norway came third.

The competition continues on Friday (14 December) with the biathlon races.