After a rest day from races on Thursday the racing was back on action on Friday the 16th of December in Vuokatti, when the last weekend of FIS Para World Cup opening was started. Day was filled with action when total of six classes were competing in Biathlon Individual starts with penalty loops distance being 10 km.
First competitions of the day were starting early in the morning and the first ones getting to enjoy the race feeling were the men and women in the vision impaired categories. On the men’s side, Anatolii Kovalevskyi from Ukraine, who got the second place during the last race on Tuesday, moved up in the result list one place and took the win together with his guide Oleksandr Mukshyn. Kovalevskyi only missed one shot during the race, meaning that 19/20 of the shots found the target.
Clear Ukrainian dominance continued also behind the winner because next three places went to Ukraine as well. Second place went to Iaroslav Reshetynskyi and the guide Oleksandr Nikonovych whereas the last spot on the podium was taken by Maksym Murashkovskyu and the guide Borys Babar. Both Reshetynskyi and Murashkovskyi showed good shooting after also hitting 19/20 in the shooting range. On the women’s side we also saw a move up from the second place of the last race, since the silver medalist from Tuesday, Leonie Maria Walter from Germany took the win. Together with her guide Pirmin Strecker, they completed the 10 km race in time 34.24,9 leaving the teammate Johanna Recktenwald with guide Valentin Haag behind by almost 23 seconds. Behind the German double, the third place went to Ukraine for Oksana Shyshkova and guide Volodymyr Ivanov.
In the standing categories, we saw tight racing action since both races were won by less than a 15 second margin. On the women’s race Liudmyla Liashenko from Ukraine took the win after completing the course in time 31.51,6, leaving the Canadian Brittany Hudak behind by a margin of 13,6 seconds. Behind the first and second place, third place went to Ukraine and Bohdana Konashuk, who made sure Ukrainian were not left without podium in this race either.
On the men’s side, the World Cup leader Mark Arendz from Canada, continued where things were left on Tuesday and took another win. The win did not come easy, as Grygorii Vovchynskyi from Ukraine had picked up the pace and was only 12 seconds behind the winner. Third place went to France, when Benjamin Daviet took the last place on the podium in front of Alexandr Gerlits from Kazakhstan. If the fight for the win was tight, so it was for third place because the bronze was decided by less than a 20 second margin. Finally, there was two more races to come when the sit skiers started the racing action in the afternoon. On the men’s side Yerbol Khamitov from Kazakhstan completed the race in 32.37,0 and took a clear win in front of the World Cup leader Taras Rad from Ukraine who came in second. Third place went to Ukraine as well, when Oleksandr Aleksyk secured a double podium for Ukrainians and continued their huge day. Finally on the women’s sit skiing, Anja Wicker from Germany took an unbelievable fifth win of the week in as many races. Behind Anja who completed the race in time 46.23,7 next places went to Canada and Korea as Christina Picton came in second and Seunghee Han became third.
Event website (results etc.): https://vuokattisport.fi/tapahtumat/worldcup2022/