Cross-Country Skiing kicked off in the morning with the Men’s 15km Sitting category, which featured 30 skiers. The weather was on the skiers’ side as it was beautifully clear.
At the 3.75km mark, Russian Roman Petushkov (LW12) took the lead with a time of 9:56.6, which was 20 seconds ahead of Italian Enzo Masaiello (LW11) who was in second place with a time of 10:19.2 at the 3.75km mark. Irek Zaripov (LW12) of Russia was in third place at this point with a time of 10:20.5.
At the 7.5km mark, Petushkov was still in the lead with a time of 20:13.2, with fellow Russian Irek Zaripov (LW12) following, and Enzo Masiello in third place. Petushkov continued to ski strong throughout the first 11.25km of the competition. Even at the third time point of 11.25km, he was in the lead with a time of 30:41.3, with Zaripov in second and Masiello in third.
Despite Petushkov’s huge lead at the beginning, he expended too much energy in the first part of the competition. This allowed Zaripov to pass him and in the end, Zaripov, who won a gold medal in yesterday’s Biathlon Sitting category, won a second gold medal for his home country Russia. Zaripov was followed by Petushkov and Masiello of Italy came in third.
On his bronze medal, Masiello, visibly relieved and happy, said: “I have taken a place on the podium which I missed in Torino by a few seconds. Finally, I can throw away this memory and I am never ever going to think of it again.”