Para Biathlon World Cup: Hattricks for Arendz, Kazmeier and Kazik

During the final day of the Para Biathlon World Cup held in Martell, athletes engaged in a challenging competition encompassing a 10 km distance and featuring four visits at the shooting range. The results of these races have determined the recipients of the overall leader's bib, setting the stage for the upcoming March World Championships in Prince George, Canada.

Securing her second consecutive victory in the women's sitting category, Kendall Gretsch exhibited exceptional marksmanship, only missing once in twenty shots during her third visit to the shooting range. The American's outstanding performance granted her a substantial lead of almost two minutes over her closest competitor, Oksana Masters, who incurred five additional penalty rounds. Maintaining her consistent podium presence from previous races, Anja Wicker completed the top three. It appears that these three formidable competitors are poised to engage in a fierce battle for World Championship medals. Meanwhile, the men's race showcased the dominance of the Ukrainian team, clinching all three podium spots. With just one miss, Vasyl Kravchuk secured the top spot with a half-minute advantage over Taras Rad, the leader in the World Cup standings, who had two missed shots. Oleksandr Aleksyk claimed the third position, narrowly overtaking Yerbol Khamitov from Kazakhstan.

Triumphing in the standing category, the Canadian representatives showcased their prowess as Mark Arendz secured a remarkable hattrick. The 33-year-old maintained an impeccable 100% shooting efficiency, crossing the finish line with a commanding lead over two minutes ahead of Benjamin Daviet from France. In the women's competition, Brittany Hudak halted the Ukrainian women's streak of victories. With with just one penalty round she surpassed Liudmyla Liashenko, who had to run five penalties. The success of Team Canada was further underscored, with Natalie Wilkie securing third place, rounding off an exceptional day for the Canadian contingent.

On the third day of the competition, the dynamics in the vision-impaired category remained consistent, with no shifts in the balance of power among the competing men and women. The dominance continued with the ladies from Germany and gentlemen from Ukraine prominently asserting themselves. Oleksandr Kazik and Linn Kazmeier clinched their third consecutive victory, standing atop the podium once again, accompanied solely by their teammates.

"I am thrilled with all the victories. It was fun to compete here. I hope to win some medals at the WCH, but most of all, I just want to have good races there. I will try to shoot with zero mistakes and be fast at the tracks," said Kazmeier.

Scheduled from March 4 to March 10, the Para Biathlon World Championships in Prince George will see participants engaging in four competitions: Sprint, Individual, Sprint Pursuit, and Team Sprint.


Photos: Krystek/IBU

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