Ukraine and France win Cross Country Relays at World Para Nordic Skiing Championships

IPC Nordic Skiing Finsterau 2017 15.02.
Ukraine celebrate their gold medal (Photo used with permission from IPC)


Wednesday saw the cross country relays at the World Para Nordic Skiing World Championship at Finsterau, Germany. Ukraine claimed the gold in the men’s relay while the French team claimed gold in the open relay.

The Ukrainian team was made up entirely of Paralympic medalists with Iurii Utkin (guide: Ruslan Perekhoda, Liudmyla Liashenko, Oleksandra Kononova and Iuliia Batenkova forming the team. The four athletes finished in a time of 26:56 to claim the gold comfortably.

The win means that Liashenko has won three gold medals and Utkin has won two in this world championships. The other two members of the team see the win as their first to claim their first world title of the season.

In second place, less than one minute behind was Sweden as Helena Ripa starred for the Swedes. The third place team was Belarus, a further minute back as Dzmitry Loban led the team well in to their bronze medal.

In the open relay, France continued to dominate that race as they defended their 2015 title, winning with a time of 23:55.9. The team made up Benjamin Daviet, Anthony Chalencon (guide: Simon Valverde), and Mikita Ladzesau (guide: Aliaksei Lykyanau) did well for another worlds gold.

In second place, not too far behind was Norway finishing barely 20 seconds behind the French. That Norwegian side was phenemonally strong, and led by Nils-Erik Ulset with Hakon Olsrud and Elrik Bye (guide: Arvid Nelson).

The podium was completed by the Canadians, who finished 30 seconds back as they were able to finish with a bronze medal. The Canadian team was led by Brian McKeever (guide: Graham Nisikawa), with Emily Young and Mark Arendz.

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