Ukrainian Para Nordic skiers shone in cross-country skiing events on home snow on the first day of the World Cup in Western Center on Friday (13 January), claiming multiple podium places including two wins.
In the men’s middle distance classic standing, Ihor Reptyukh finished first with a time of 26:12.9, giving Ukraine the first win of the day. Finland’s Ilkka Tuomisto (26:27.1) and home skier Grygorii Vovchynskyi (26:56.8) completed the podium in second and third respectively.
Multiple Paralympic champion Oleksandra Kononova (19:53.1) added a second victory to the host country’s haul with a win in the women’s middle distance classic standing. Her compatriot Iuliia Batenkova (20:04.9) took second and Japan’s Yurika Abe (21:19.3) third.
South Korea’s Eui Hyun Sin (18:14.6) was the fastest in the men’s short distance classic sitting, claiming his first World Cup win. Ukrainians Maksym Yarovyi (18:30.9) and Taras Rad (18:50.8) followed him onto the podium.
The women’s equivalent was the only race without any Ukrainians amongst the top three, with Germany’s Andrea Eskau (10:17.6) claiming the top spot ahead of Belarus’ Lidziya Hrafeyeva (10:49.9) and China’s Beibei Chu (11:20.0).
France’s Thomas Clarion, guided by Antoine Boillet, won the men’s middle distance classic visually impaired with a time of 25:15.9. Belarus’ Yury Holub (26:54.9), guided by Dzmitry Budzilovich, ended second and Ukraine’s Dmytro Suiarko (26:59.5), with guide Vasyl Potapenko, third.
Austria’s Carina Edlinger (21:52.9) was in great form as she claimed the women’s middle distance classic visually impaired win with guide Julian Josef Edlinger. It was the first time The Austrian climbed onto the top of the World Cup podium, showing her form ahead of the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Finsterau, Germany.
Ukrainian teammates Olga Prylutska (22:00.8), with guide Borys Babar, and Oksana Shyshkova (23:43.5), guided by Vitalii Kazakov, were second and third respectively.
The World Cup will continue on Saturday (14 January) with the long distance freestyle and on 16 January with the sprint freestyle. Biathlon races will take place on 17, 19 and 20 January.
This is the last major event before the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships, which will be held in Finsterau from 10-19 February, and will feature around 135 athletes from 25 countries.
Live results and a live stream are available on World Para Nordic Skiing’s website.