Russia looks to cap off Cable 2015 with relay gold

The cross-country relays will round-off the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships in Cable, Wisconsin, USA on Sunday (1 February). 01 Feb 2015
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Marta Zaynullina, Russia pushes on

Marta Zaynullina, Russia pushes on

Ⓒwww.photo-hartmann.de
By Robert Murray | For the IPC

Several teams have the chance to dethrone the defending champions in the event, with the best hopes perhaps lying at the feet of Ukraine’s team.

After countless hours applying ski wax and preparing for competitions, the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships will conclude on Sunday (1 February) in Cable, Wisconsin, USA, with the cross-country mixed and open relay events.

Russia has not lost at a title since 2013, taking both World Championships races that year and capturing double gold again at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

Lining up for Russia will be a formidable group of racers, including multiple world and Paralympic champions Vladislav Lekomtcev, Marta Zaynullina, Nikolay Polukhin, guided by Andrey Tokarev, and the tandem of Iuliia Budaleeva and guide Tatiana Maltseva.

Staying true to form, Russia has dominated at Cable 2015, winning 52 individual medals, 23 of them gold.

Several teams have the chance to dethrone the defending champions in the event, with the best hopes perhaps lying at the feet of Ukraine’s team.

Oleksandra Kononova has put the rest of her class on notice after storming to six individual gold standing medals through as many events so far at Cable 2015.

Teammate Maksym Yarovyi has also held his share of top results in the men’s sitting events, earning three medals over the individual portion of the competition.

Oksana Shyshkova, guided by Lada Nesterenko, has also struck the podium in the women’s visually impaired events multiple times and will be searching for more in the relay.

On the heels of winning three medals at Sochi 2014, the US have rocketed up the medal standings on home soil with seven medals, including a record five from sit-skier Andrew Soule, that could give them the confidence they need to push for the podium.

Norway captured bronze in the open relay at the 2013 Worlds and Sochi 2014 and could factor into the podium mix. Their chances will be made or broken based on the performances of standing skier Nils-Erik Ulset and sitting athlete Mariann Marthinsen, their two medal winners in the competition.

France’s team, featuring the duo of Thomas Clarion and guide Julien Bourla with standing skier Benjamin Daviet, won bronze in the mixed class Sochi.

Canada has steadily improved each day in Cable, and has one medal - gold from Brian McKeever and guide Erik Carleton - to show for their efforts.

Mark Arendz has consistently been in the top five or six competitors in the men’s sitting, while Brittany Hudak finished one second off the podium in the women’s middle distance standing race on Saturday (31 January).

Chris Klebl finished fifth for Canada in the men’s middle distance sitting on Saturday and could go a long way in helping his country reach the podium.

The relay races are scheduled to start at 10am (CST) to conclude the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships.

Live results will be available at www.cable2015.com as well as a livestream.

Low resolution pictures will be available at the IPC's Flickr account and high resolution versions are available on request via [email protected].