Norwegian Mariann Marthinsen secured her third cross country victory at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup yesterday (Thursday 12, December) with a win in the women’s long distance sitting class (33:17.3).
Marthinsen, 29, graciously gave credit to her wax team for her final win, giving her a clean sweep across all distances on the technically challenging course in Canmore, Canada:
“I had really fast skis today, the wax team did a great job. I really did not expect to do so well this week.”
A cross country specialist, Marthinsen gets a well-deserved break as some of her other competitors move onto the biathlon races which begin on Saturday (14 December), as skiers look towards the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in March.
Italy’s Francesca Porcellato was equally as delighted with her silver in 33:39.6, her second of the competition.
“I am so happy. I had fast skis and we had nice perfect weather”.
Marta Zaynullina of Russia was fast enough at 33:52.7 for third.
Canada’s Colette Bourgonje, who performs best at longer distances but settled for fifth today said: “My skis were awesome. I just did not have my usual snap. I felt a bit tired, but I gave it my all”.
In the women’s long distance classic visually impaired race it was once again a Russian top three with 27-year-old Elena Remizova and guide Natalia Yakamova winning in 57:58.9. Iuliia Budaleeva and Tatiana Maltseva came in second (59:45.6), and Elvira Kalabina and Irina Sitnikova in third (1:05:21.9).
The Russian men equaled their teammates’ dominance in the long distance sitting. 30-year-old Irek Zaripov won gold over the course in 38:06.3. He was followed by Roman Petushkov in 38:31.2 and Aliaksandr Davidovich at 38:40.8.
Canada’s 34-year-old Nordic skiing legend Brian McKeever wrapped up his week with a second gold in the visually impaired class (54:55.4), despite guide Erik Carleton still being out with illness. Russia’s Stanislav Chokhlaev and guide Maksim Pirogov were second at 55:22.8. Vladimir Udaltcov and guide Ruslan Bogachev earned their first podium finish of the week with a 55:12.8 third place showing.
After a second and third place finish in day one and two, Russian 21-year-old Rushan Minnegulov finally stepped onto the top of the podium in the men’s 20km classic standing with a time of 53:52.2. Only 5.3 seconds behind at 53:56.9 was compatriot Vladislav Lekomtcev, winner from the sprint on Tuesday (10 December).
Finnish star Ilkka Tuomisto rounded out the podium in 56:19.2. Pablo Robledo, Argentina’s lone entry into the World Cup and his country’s first winter para-Nordic skier finished a respectable 11th.
Two Russian women completed the long distance classic standing race – Russia’s Alena Kaufman was first at 1:01:16.1 followed by Natalia Bratiuk in 1:03:53.2.
Over 100 athletes from 12 countries have competed in the first IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup of the season in Canmore, Canada. The cross country events are followed by the biathlon World Cup races which start on Saturday, 14 December at the Canmore Nordic Centre.
Pictures of both competitions will be available on the International Paralympic Committee's Flickr and video highlights will be available everyday at ParalympicSport.TV.
Updates will also be posted to IPC Nordic Skiing's Twitter and Facebook.