Cross-country skiing long distance sitting - 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships Solleftea

Sit skier Andrea Eskau won the first gold medal for Germany at the 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships in Solleftea, Sweden, on Tuesday (26 February), finishing the women's sitting cross-country 12k race in a time of 38:50.0.

Just last year, Esaku won two gold medals in handcycling at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Norway's Mariann Marthinsen added a silver medal to her bronze from the sprint race with a time of 39:16.3, beating Ukraine's Lyudmyla Pavlenko, who clocked a time of 40:17.0.

"Andrea is very strong, and I know there is still quite a way for me to go to catch her," Marthinsen said of Eskau. "I did my best today and tried to reach her, but it was not possible. "My next race is the 5k. I now have a bronze and a silver medal, so maybe it will be gold next time."

The men's sitting long distance race was once again dominated by Russia's Roman Petushkov, gold-medal winner of the sprint race the day prior. Petushkov led throughout the whole race, putting more than 47 seconds between him and second-place finisher Enzo Masiello of Italy. Petushkov finished in a time of 41:02.4.

Masiello, bronze medallist at the 2011 World Championships and the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games over the 15k distance, and Japan's Kozo Kubo, the IPC's Athlete of the Month for January, were within just a few seconds throughout the race, with the stronger finish for Masiello.

Kubo, who finished in a time of 42:02.0, said after the race: "I am very happy, this is my first medal at a World Championships in a cross-country skiing race. I will train hard to also win a medal in Sochi next year."

Russia's Irek Zaripov who was expected to be the strongest competitor for Petushkov in the day's race finished in a disappointing 18th place.

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