Para Biathlon World Cup Finals – 10km Middle Distance

On a sunny day in Prince George, following the Para Biathlon World Championships, the biathlon season came to an end with the World Cup Final and 10km middle competition.

To start off the day, the sitting men’s class were on the course first. Taras Rad of Ukraine finished in first place, making no errors in any of his visits to the range. Finishing in second was Zixu Liu of China and Vasyl Kravchuk in third.

Coming into today’s race, Rad was leading in the World Cup Overall Rankings. His victory today also secured his win of this season’s Crystal Globe.

The sitting women were up next, with four athletes competing. Anja Wicker of Germany started the day third in the World Cup Rankings but was able to win today’s event and the Crystal Globe. Americans Kendall Gretsch and Oksana Masters, who were leading the rankings in first and second place, respectively, were not in attendance.

After a successful World Championships, Mark Arendz was able to continue his dominance by winning the standing men’s event and the Crystal Globe. When asked how he felt about his performance, the Canadian said:

“Fantastic. It's been kind of special. Last year, taking the overall again, the Globe in Soldier Hollow was kind of special, that was not expected for me. Kind of just did the things that I was really good at and came away with the Globe, and then that was kind of you know, close to home, so it felt special. But doing it here today, taking the Globe with another strong performance you know, a little bit of a rocky start for myself at that one miss right off the start, but just kept plugging away at it and the strength of consistent shooting and skiing just kept me going and brought me to my seventh win, I think it is of the season. So really special.

The first when I first started it was kind of looking up to the guys that were capable of doing feats like this, you know, the undefeated season and now I'm one of those guys. So that feels really special.”

Behind Arendz on the podium was Serhii Romaniuk of Ukraine in second and Marco Maier of Germany in third.

Liudmyla Liashenko of Ukraine added to her three golds and one silver from the previous week, winning the women’s standing competition. She also won this season’s Crystal Globe.

Rounding out the podium were her fellow teammates, Bohdana Konashuk and Oleksandra Kononova, in second and third place, respectively.

To end off the day, the vision impaired athletes were up next. First was the men’s category, in which Oleksandr Kazik and guide Serhii Kucheriavyi claimed top spot on the podium. Kazik’s countryman Dmytro Suiarko won the silver medal with guide Oleksandr Nikonovych. Nico Messinger of Germany won the bronze with guide Robin Wunderle.

Kazik is also this season’s Crystal Globe winner. At last week’s championships, he won two golds and a bronze.

The final competition of the day saw Germany sweep the women’s vision impaired podium. Linn Kazmaier and guide Florian Baumann won the gold medal. In second place was Leonie Maria Walter with guide Christian Krasman, and in third was Johanna Recktenwald with guide Pirmin Strecker.

Kazmaier was also awarded the Crystal Globe to conclude the World Cup season.

The schedule for the 2024-25 Para Biathlon World Cup season will be announced later this year.

Pictures: Kelly Bergman / Caledonia Nordic Ski Club

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