The Ukrainian duo of Oleksandra Kononova and Ihor Reptyukh captured long distance biathlon golds at the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships in Cable, Wisconsin, USA, on Friday (30 January).
Paralympic champion Kononova (38:21.4) stormed to victory over 12.5km, putting herself on top of the podium for an incredible fifth time in both cross-country and biathlon women’s standing events.
“[They] are two different sports so the preparation is different,” Kononova said.
“Before this biathlon [race] I was trying to calm down, to get the thoughts in order and prepare mentally for this race.”
Compatriot Liudmyla Liashenko (39:10.3) claimed silver. Finland’s Maija Jarvela (41:34.6) missed just one target on the day to take bronze.
Reptuykh (39:23.9) shot clean in the men’s 15km standing event to make it a double gold for Ukraine.
Russian Vladislav Lekomtcev (39:28.7) had his bid for a third biathlon gold medal at Cable 2015 dashed as he took silver. France’s Benjamin Daviet (39:42.0) shot perfectly to finish with the bronze.
Lekmotcev’s teammate Alexey Bychenok (46:31.2) returned to the top of the podium in the men’s sitting thanks to his sharp shooting. The USA's Andrew Soule (46:56.9) also came away perfect from the range, giving him silver for his fourth medal of Cable 2015.
“I don’t think I really came in here with any really expectations of specific place or performances,” Soule said.
“It was important to make sure I got all hits. There were only three cleans out here today and hitting a target in this long individual event is incredibly important.”
Russian Grigory Murygin (47:15.4) missed one shot on his third trip to the range, forcing him into bronze.
Russia charged to another podium sweep in the women’s event, with Marta Zaynullina (45:31.4) claiming her first gold to beat Paralympic champion teammate Svetlana Konovalova (45:51.8). Natalia Kocherova (45:53.0) took bronze to earn her first medal of the competition.
Nikolay Polukhin (41:17.8) and guide Andrey Tokarev claimed their third gold medal for Russia in the men’s. Fellow countrymen Stanislav Chokhlaev (41:35.3), guided by Evgenii Fatkhullin, took the silver. Ukraine’s Iurii Utkin (44:00.7) and guide Vitalii Kazakov completed the podium.
Russian Iuliia Budaleeva (40:29.0), guided by Tatiana Maltseva, claimed the women’s gold for the third straight biathlon race. They were joined on the podium by compatriot Elena Remizova (42.26.9) and guide Maksim Pirogov, who fought their way to silver.
Ukraine’s Olga Prylutska (42:31.1), guided by Borys Babar, took bronze to round out the podium.
The competition continues on Saturday (31 January) with the middle distance cross-country races.
Races start at 10:00 (CST) every day. Live results will be available at the Cable 2015 website as well as a livestream.
There has been a change to the schedule as a result of very cold temperatures predicted for Sunday. The cross-country middle distance will now take place on Saturday (31 January) and the cross-country relay will round-off the 2015 World Championships on Sunday (1 February).
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