The athletes representing Russia held their ground in the Cross-Country competition, taking over a total of eight places in the top three positions at the 2009 IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing World Championships in Vuokatti, Finland on Thursday, 29 January. The closest competitor to Russia was Belarus and Ukraine, each tallying up multiple top three positions.
In the Men’s Sitting 10 kilometre competition, Russian athletes Roman Petushkov and Irek Zaripov took the first and second positions with times of 33:09.7 and 33:14.5 respectively. Belarusian Allaksandr Davidovich followed in third with a time of 33:42.2. The Men’s Visually Impaired 10 kilometre competition had similar results, but with two pairs of athletes from Russia, Nikolay Polukhin and Andrey Tokarev (guide), and Evgenly Sarronov and Urai Gumerov (guide) in the second and third positions. The top position went to brothers Brian McKeever and Robin McKeever (guide) from Canada. The McKeevers finished with an impressive time of 24:49, more than a minute ahead of their competitors.
The Men’s Standing 10 kilometre competition saw Nils Erik Ulset from Norway in the top position with a time of 25:58.1. Kirill Mikhaylov (RUS) and Michael Kurz (AUT) came in second and third respectively.
In the Women’s Sitting 5 kilometre race, Liudmila Vauchok from Belarus finished at 17:42.8. Ukraine’s Olena Iurkovska and Lyudmyla Pavlenko followed in second and third positions. The Women’s Standing 5 kilometre race saw the three top countries in the top positions, with Anna Burmistrova (RUS) leading the way. Iuliia Batenkova (UKR) and Larisa Varona (BLR) took the next two positions.
And in the Women’s Visually Impaired 5 kilometre race, Russia’s athletes Tatiana Ilyuchenko and Valeriy Koshkin (guide) came in first with a time of 16:30, followed by Belarusian pair Yadviha Skorabahataya and Vasili Haurukovich (guide).
The 2009 IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing World Championships continue today, with the official training for the Biathlon competition.