Arendz, Liashenko and Kazmaier double the gold in Prince George

Day two of the 2024 Para Biathlon World Championships saw athletes compete in the 12.5km individual competition, with three athletes winning gold for a second consecutive day. The first to do so was Canadian Mark Arendz in the men’s standing category. 

“Oh it feels fantastic. Some of those mistakes from yesterday I kind of corrected, really focused on and I just felt more relaxed, you know. That first one was out of the way, I could now just be myself and use my strengths throughout the race and come home with a second gold medal.”

The previous day, Arendz won the 7.5km sprint event. While he missed one target during that competition, today he was excellent in his marksmanship, with no missed targets.

On the men’s standing podium alongside Arendez was Frenchman Benjamin Daviet in second, and Grygorii Vovchynskyi in third. 

In the women’s standing class, Ukrainian Liudmyla Liashenko made her second trip of the world championships to the top of the podium, this time alone. Liashenko tied with Natalie Wilkie of Canada for gold in the 7.5km sprint. Wilkie also landed on the podium today, this time in third place. The silver medal was claimed by Zhiqing Zhao of China.

The women’s sitting category saw Americans Oksana Masters and Kendall Gretsch on the podium for a second straight day. This time though, Gretsch was the one who won the event. She made no errors in her shooting, while Masters had one missed target. 

“I think I felt a lot better today. A little bit warmer, which is a lot better, but yeah, it was just one of those days in biathlon where like the skiing and the shooting all fit together. So yeah, I was really happy with my race today.”

Rounding out the podium was Korea’s Yunji Kim.

To cap off the day, the vision impaired athletes hit the course with their guides. France’s Anthony Chalencon and guide Florian Michelon improved upon yesterday’s silver medal by winning today’s event. They were joined on the podium by Ukrainians Iaroslav Reshetynskyi and guide Dmytro Drahun in second, and Oleksandr Kazik with guide Serhii Kucheriavyi. All three athletes were on the podium yesterday as well, with Kazik winning gold.

Linn Kazmaier and guide Florian Baumann claimed top spot on the podium again in the women’s category. Kazmaier improved in her shooting, with no missed targets compared to missing one target the day before. Germany’s Leonie Maria Walter and guide Christian Krasman won a second consecutive silver medal. Finishing the podium was Ukraine’s Nataliia Tkachenko with guide Ivan Marchyshak. 

Competitions will resume on Saturday with the sprint pursuit.

Photos: Kelly Bergman/Caledonia Nordic Ski Club

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