Germany and Ukraine Dominate Opening Day of Nordic World Championships

Day 1
Competition in Day One of the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships (Photo used with permission from IPC)

There were some strong results for host nation Germany as the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships got underway at Finsterau on Saturday. Germany managed to land on the podium multiple times as they impressed in the middle distance biathlon events held on Saturday.

Martin Feig had Germany’s first win of the event as he claimed the men’s sitting thanks to a 37:31.0 performance. Feig managed to miss just one shot on his way to the gold, edging out the world cup leader, Taras Red of Ukraine with Korean Eui Hyun Sin two minutes back in third.

Belarussian Lidziya Hrafeyeva continued her recent run of good form in the women’s sitting, upsetting German hope Anja Wicker. Hrafeyeva managed 34:46.0 to dominate the race, with Wicker in second two minutes back while fellow German Andrea Eskau rounded out the podium shortly after.

The biggest upset of the day came in the men’s standing when Canadian Mark Arendz stunned the world by winning the world title. He had his shooting to thank, as his perfection pushed him to the win ahead of Frenchman Benjamin Daviet and Ukranian Grygorii Vovchysnkyi.

Ukraine managed a 1-2 finish in the women’s standing with Oleksandra Kononova defending her title easily. She finished two minutes clear of her team mate Lyudmila Liashenko with Japan’s Yuirka Abe finishing a further minute back for the bronze.

As has been the trend all season, Ukraine dominated in the visually impaired classifications, with a clean sweep of the men’s. Iurii Utkin (guide: Ruslan Perekhoda) won the gold followed by team mates Anatolii Kovalevskyi (guide: Oleksandr Mukshyn) and Dmytro Suiarko (Guide: Vasyl Potaprnko).

In the women’s Ukraine won yet again as Olga Pryluska (guide: Volodomyr Ianov) won in a time of 33:11.4. The World Cup leader and fellow Ukrainian Oksana Shyshkova (guide: Vitalii Kazakov) came in second while the podium was rounded out by German Clara Klug (guide: Martin Hartl).

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