World champions maintain biathlon form in Sochi

The Russian duo of Mikhalina Lysvoa and Nikolay Polukhin won gold in biathlon's short-distance event at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup. 20 Mar 2013
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Nikolay Polukhin

Nikolay Polukhin has been Russia's top biathlon competitor over the last Paralympic cycle.

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By IPC

Going into Thursday’s final day of competition which will see athletes compete in the biathlon long, Russia lead the medals table. The Sochi 2014 hosts have won 28 out of 60 medals, including 11 golds.

Two Russian biathlon short gold medallists from the recent IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships in Solleftea, Sweden showed their form again on Wednesday (20 March) winning the same event at the World Cup Finals in Sochi, Russia.

In the Finals that are doubling up as a Sochi 2014 test event, the Russian duo of Mikhalina Lysova and Nikolay Polukhin were in unbeatable form winning the women’s and men’s visually impaired class races.

Earlier this month in Solleftea, Lysova and her guide Alexey Ivanov won all three biathlon world titles, and the duo were never in trouble over 6km at the Laura Cross-Country and Biathlon Centre. The pair finished in 18.32.1, almost 14 seconds ahead of teammates and world silver medallists Iuliia Budaleeva and guide Tatyana Maltseva (18:46.2) in second. Bronze was won by Germany’s Vivian Hoesch and guide Michael Huhn (20:13.9).

Like Lysova, Polukhin won all three biathlon world titles in Solleftea too and he and his guide Andrey Tokarev stormed to victory on Wednesday over 7.5km. The two finished in 19:30.2, well ahead of two Ukrainian duos - Iurii Utkin and guide Vitalii Kazakov (20:57.5) and Vitaliy Lukyanenko and guide Borys Babar (20:57.8) - in silver and bronze respectively.

On the fourth day of competition Russian athletes again showed they will be the ones to beat on home snow at next year’s Paralympics winning half of the gold medals up for grabs. In addition to Lysova and Polukhin’s golds, there was also a win for Svetlana Konovalova in the women’s sitting 6km race.

To win gold Konovalova (20:21.9) beat Ukraine’s world champion Olena Iurkovska (20:34.6) into silver medal position. Just like in Solleftea, Russia’s Marta Iurkovska (20:34.6) had to settle for bronze.

Ukraine took home gold in both the women’s and men’s standing events over 6km and 7.5km respectively.

World bronze medallist Oleksandra Kononova (18:42.7) took gold in the women’s race, finishing ahead of Finland’s Maija Jarvela (18:53.0) and Russia’s world silver medallist Anna Milenina (19:17.3).

The men’s race was won by biathlon middle world champion Ihor Reptyukh (19:31.0). Silver went to his teammate Grygorii Vovchynskyi (19:56.4) whilst bronze was won by Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset (20:12.6).

Japan’s Kozo Kubo (22:18.2) was victorious in the men’s sitting biathlon short over 7.5km. Russia’s Alexey Bychenok (22:44.8) and Ukraine’s Maksym Yarovyi (22:51.9) took the remaining medals.

Going into Thursday’s final day of competition which will see athletes compete in the biathlon long, Russia lead the medals table. The Sochi 2014 hosts have won 28 out of 60 medals, including 11 golds.

Live final day coverage can be found at www.ParalympicSport.TV. starting at 08:30 CET.

Regular updates can also be found at www.twitter.com/IPCNordic and www.facebook.com/IPCNordicSkiing.

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games will take place between 7-16 March and are set to feature 700 athletes from 45 countries. They will compete in five sports – alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling. Para- snowboard will make its Games debut as part of the alpine skiing programme.

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