PYEONGCHANG, Republic of Korea – After missing out on gold four years ago by just 0.7 of a second, Canadian Mark Arendz finally got his gold medal as he won the men’s biathlon 15km standing on Friday at the 2018 Paralympic Games in Korea.
Arendz was determined to not miss out this time and he took control of the race, cruising to the victory, obliterating the field. Arendz won by almost a minute, finishing 58.3 seconds ahead of Frenchman Benjamin Daviet.
“That 0.7 has been driving my training for four years. It’s a small thing that made a big impact over the last four years and finally to put it together here, to get that gold and by a fair margin too, that means everything. Everything has come together finally,” said Arendz after winning.
Four of the other five golds in the last day of biathlon competition were split between Germany and the Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA). Germany took the two sitting events while NPA claimed the women’s standing and visually impaired events.
Andrea Eskau continued her impressive career, winning her third Paralympic gold in the women’s sitting. Germany swept the sitting events as Martin Fegg was at the opposite end of his career, winning his first career Paralympic medal in the men’s event.
The women’s standing saw an NPA one-two as Anna Milenina claimed the win ahead of team mate Ekaterina Rumyantseva. A second NPA gold came in the women’s visually impaired as Mikhalina Lysova (Guide: Alexey Ivanov) claimed her fourth career biathlon gold.
Bibian Mentel-Spee continued her remarkable come back in what is likely to be her last Paralympic Games as she won her second gold of the Games in the women’s snowboard banked slalom SB-LL2. Mentel-Spee beat American Brittani Court, putting down an unassailable time after finishing third in the first run.
“I’m going to take it easy for a little while. These are probably my last Games. I might do a couple more competitions but probably not any more Games,” said Mentel-Spee.”[I hope to stay involved] just to bring it further and hopefully inspire a lot of kids out there with a physical disability to come out and play this wonderful sport.”
Joining Mentel-Spee in the snowboard sweeps was American Brenna Huckaby as she claimed the women’s snowboard banked slalom SB-LL1. That was the first of three American gold medals in the snowboard banked slalom as the men’s SB-UL was claimed by Mike Minor while Noah Elliott won the SB-LL1. Japan won its first ever snowboard gold medal as Narita Gurimu claimed the win in the men’s SB-LL2 with a stunning run.
There was a stunning result in the first wheelchair curling semi-final as Canada found themselves on the losing end against China. The win guarantees China its first Winter Paralympics medal, and overturned the result in the round robin.
The other semi-final saw a heartbreaking finish for the hosts as Norway edged Korea Republic in extra ends following a 6-6 score line after eight. Nerves just took over the Koreans at the death and it cost them dearly as Norway guaranteed itself a medal.