Ukrainian athletes claimed two wins out of six on the third day of competition at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup in Vuokatti, Finland, on Saturday (13 December) with Ihor Reptyukh the pick of the bunch with victory in the men’s 10km cross-country standing.
In taking the win, Reptyukh (27:04.9) beat Aleksandr Pronkov, Russia’s Sochi 2014 Paralympic champion over this distance, in to third. Pronkov’s teammate, Sochi bronze medallist Vladislav Lekomtcev (27:18.9) finished second behind Reptyukh who will be delighted with his win, especially after only finishing 10th in this event at March’s Paralympic Winter Games.
The women’s 5km standing also witnessed Ukrainian success.
Oleksandra Kononova (16:06.2), a bronze medallist in this event in Sochi, topped the podium ahead of teammate Liudmyla Liashenko (16:46.9). Canada’s Brittant Hudak (17:28.2) finished third.
In the day’s four other races, Russian athletes dominated taking eight of the 12 podium positions.
The men’s visually impaired 10km was won by the Sochi 2014 silver medallists in this event Stanislav Chokhlaev and his guide Evgenii Fatkhullin (28.17.6). The pair finished ahead of France’s Thomas Clarion and guide Julien Bourla (28:54.5) in second, whilst Vladmir Udaltcov and guide Ruslan Bogachev (29:20.1) were third.
Russia took the top two podium positions in the men’s 10km sitting and women’s 5km visually impaired races.
Ivan Golubkov (27:22.6), who finished second in Wednesday’s biathlon sprint, easily took the win in the men’s sitting finishing well ahead of his teammate Aleksandr Davidovich (28:14.1). Third place went to Canada’s Chris Klebl (28:24.2).
Having won Wednesday’s women’s 6km visually impaired biathlon sprint, Iulia Budaleeva and guide Tatiana Maltseva (16:19.2) again took top spot, this time in the cross-country. Behind them in second were teammates Elena Remizova and guide Maksim Pirogov (16:39.3) whilst the Ukrainian pair of Oksana Shyshkova and guide Lada Nesterenko (17:28.4) completed the podium.
Marta Zaynullina (15:49.9) claimed victory in the women’s 5km sitting, her second win in three events in Vuokatti. In the closest race of the day, with less than 17 seconds separating the top three, USA’s Oksana Masters (15:59.1) was second, edging out Maria Iovleva (16:06.8) in third.
Marta Zaynullina, said: "I really didn't expect such a great week! I am really happy. Also today the race went really well."
More than 100 athletes from 12 countries are in Vuokatti for the first World Cup event of the 2014-2015 season. Competition will continue on Sunday with the cross-country sprint and all races will give a good indicator of form ahead of the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships which will take place in Cable, USA, between 23 January and 1 February.
All the results from Saturday's races can be found here.