“It is (a) great feeling to be on the podium at the World Championships. It is my first time and I would say thank you to our team. We did a great job today.”
Ukrainian Oleksandra Kononova captured her third gold medal of the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships in Cable, Wisconsin, USA, on Tuesday (27 January), maintaining her 100 per cent record across women’s cross-country and biathlon standing events.
Long distance Paralympic champion Kononova, 23, added the middle distance biathlon world title to her collection with a blazing time of 31:05.3, leading a podium sweep for Ukraine in the event.
Liudmyla Liashenko (32:32.7) clinched her third silver, whilst Iryna Bui (34:49.2) shot clean to help her to bronze.
Russia took five wins in other events to take their medal total for the day to 11.
Vladislav Lekomtcev crossed the line in 32:41.2 to claim his second gold medal in the men’s standing.
Norwegian Nils-Erik Ulset (33:34.0) picked up his race in the final stages to win silver, whilst Ukraine’s Ihor Reptyukh (33:44.4) was delighted with bronze.
“Of course this is great joy for all the work done for the preparation to these World Championships,” Reptyukh said.
The men’s sitting race continued to demonstrate Russia’s stronghold in Nordic skiing with Grigory Murygin (37:58.1) taking the win.
Teammate Alexey Bychenok, who shot perfectly, sealed silver in 38:31.5. Germany’s Martin Fleig (39:31.8) took bronze, his first medal on the World Championships level.
“I cannot believe it,” Fleig said. “It is (a) great feeling to be on the podium at the World Championships. It is my first time and I would say thank you to our team. We did a great job today.”
In the women’s sitting Russia swept the podium, led by Maria Iovleva (38:23.6). Silver went to Irina Guliaeva (39.03.3), and bronze to Marta Zaynullina (39.11.5) for her third medal at Cable 2015.
Their teammate and defending world champion Nikolay Polukhin (34:03.2) and guide Andrey Tokarev made it back-to-back biathlon gold medals in the men’s visually impaired, leading another podium block-out for Russia.
Stanislav Chokhlaev (34:46.3) and guide Evgenii Fatkhullin placed second, while Vladimir Udaltcov (35:58.1) and guide Ruslan Bogachev took bronze for their second medal of the competition.
Their compatriots Iuliia Budaleeva (34:03.9) and guide Tatiana Maltseva claimed gold in the women’s visually impaired.
The Ukrainian duo of Oksana Shyshkova (34:36.9) and guide Lada Nesterenko led Russia's Elena Remizova (35:10.1), guided by Maksim Pirogov, onto the podium.
Competition continues on Wednesday (28 January) with cross-country sprint events.
Races start at 10am (CST) every day, with a rest day on 29 January.
Live results will be available at the Cable 2015 website 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].