March 23, 2017 (Sapporo, Japan) – The Para-Nordic World Cup Finals concluded on March 22 in Sapporo, Japan. The finals, which spanned five days, saw strong performances from North Americans in several events throughout the competition.
On Sunday March 19 Canada’s Chris Klebl of Canmore, Alberta won a silver medal in the Men’s 5km Sit-Ski competition. His second podium of the season, Klebl finished with a time of 14:24.9 at 13.2 seconds behind race winner Maksym Yarovyi of the Ukraine. Germany’s Martin Fleig won the bronze medal with a time of 14:30.7.
“Racing well today was a bit of a surprise as we don’t ski this distance often, and it is usually not my best. But I liked the course here. We made some adjustments to the skis from yesterday and things came together well,” said Klbel.
Also on Sunday, American Oksana Masters took a silver medal in the Women’s Sitting, in a time of 8:20.2. Germany’s multiple Worlds medalist Andrea Eskau won the event with a time of 8:07.8, with her teammate Anja Wicker completing the podium with a time of 8:57.1.
Moving forward to March 21, Canada’s Mark Arendz of Hartsville, P.E.I. added a silver medal to his season collection in the Men’s Standing 12.5km Biathlon race. Arendz posted a time of 30:31.2 on the firm snow conditions in Sapporo.
The event was won by Benjamin Daviet of France, who finished with a time of 30:13.5. Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset, finished in third spot with a time of 30:44.4.
In the Women’s Sprint Biathlon, world title holder Masters finished on the top step of the podium, posting a time of 34:45.4 ahead of Germany’s multiple world and paralymic champion Andrea Eskau (35:29.3) who finished second.
Vancouver’s Young gained her first biathlon medal of her career in the Women’s 6km Sprint, shooting clean with a time of 18:41.8.
“On the start line today, I knew I could give it everything for six kilometres and so I did. I trusted my abilities and the process (coach) John Jacques and I have been focusing on and it worked,” said Young.
Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova won the event with a time of 18:12.9 despite missing two shots, while her teammate settled for third with a time of 18:50.9.
Arendz won his second straight silver medal at the World Cup Finals in the Men’s Sprint. Arendz missed a shot a shot during his second trip to the range, but rallied on the final lap from third place to take silver with a time of 18:45.3. With this second place, Arendz secured his second place in the overall Parap-Nordic World Cup Biathlon standings for the third time in his career.
Daviet shot clean in the final event of the season to take the gold medal with a time of 17:49.6 and reinforced his lead in the overall standings. Reptyukh hung on for the bronze medal with a time of 19:32.5 despite missing two targets in his final round of shooting.
Masters again found herself on the podium today in the Women’s Biathlon Sprint, finishing with a time of 20:41.0. Eskau took the win, shooting clean, with a time of 20:33.8, while Wicker stopped the clock with a time of 21:51.7, good enough for third.
Full results and final rankings are available at World Para Nordic Skiing’s website here.