Russia Racks Up 10 Top-3 Finishes on Day 1

The Russian delegation once again showed its strength at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup, finishing strong on Day 1 of the Finals in Finland. 22 Mar 2012
Irek Zaripov celebrating after winning a race at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games

Irek Zaripov of Russia celebrates.

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Racing continues from Vuokatti on Friday and runs through to 1 April.

Russia yet again led the way on the snow trails, as they claimed 10 of the 19 podium spots on the opening day of the 2011-12 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Nordic Skiing World Cup Finals on Thursday (22 March) in Vuokatti, Finland.

The Russian delegation swept both the men’s Cross-Country Sprint Sitting and women’s Cross-Country Sprint Standing disciplines.

Thirty-four-year-old Roman Petushkov, January’s IPC’s Athlete of the Month, continued his winning ways this season by finishing first in the men’s Sprint Sitting race.

He lost both of his legs in a car accident in February 2006, but with the rate he is skiing the season, gold is now almost expected of him at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

Petushkov was followed by teammates Ramil Ilalutdinov and Irek Zaripov in the race.

Russia’s Mikhalina Lysova, meanwhile, took the top prize in the women’s Visually Impaired Standing event, with her compatriots Elena Remizova and Iuliia Budaleeva finishing right behind her.

Canada’s heavily decorated Brian McKeever, a three-time Paralympic Games gold medallist, won the men’s Visually Impaired sprint, as Russians Nikolay Polukhin and Stanislav Chokhlaev finished second and third, respectively.

Norway’s Vegard Dahle won the men’s Standing Sprint, with two Russians, Kirill Mikhaylov and Vladislav Lekomtcev, taking second and third.

Ukraine’s delegation was able to flex its depth in winter sports, as Iuliia Batenkova won the women’s Standing Sprint and

teammates Lyudmyla Pavlenko and Olena Iurkovska finshed second and third in the women’s Sitting Sprint.

Finland’s Maija Jarvela, who took third in the women’s Standing Sprint, was the only member from the host nation delegation to medal on the day.

Racing continues from Vuokatti on Friday and runs through to 1 April.