Para Biathlon World Championships 2024: Team Sprint

On the final day of the 2024 Para Biathlon World Championships, Team USA and Team Ukraine claimed top spot on the team sprint podiums.

The day started with qualifications in the sitting class and a combined standing and vision impaired class. Mixed nations teams were allowed in the qualification stage, which saw France’s Karl Tabouret team up with Lennart Mattis Volkert and guide Nils Kolb.

For the finals, only one team per country was permitted. In the sit ski final, Americans Kendall Gretsch and Oksana Masters were able to overcome a third place start position to win the gold medal with a time of 22 minutes and 22.1 seconds. Even though Masters had to complete three penalty loops after her final visit to the shooting range, she was able to cross the finish line first.

Gretsch said of their victory, “Yeah, I mean, I think it's always so fun. We don't get a lot of opportunities to do relays. So yeah, normally we're racing against each other. So it's so fun to be a team.”

Masters added, “Yeah, I was gonna say the same thing. It's really fun. Normally we are going against each other and everyone thinks like, we have this huge like rivalry and we're competing against each other, and it's really, really special to be able to put both of our strengths together and come out on top today.”

Both women have been on the podium for each of the four events this week. Earlier in the week, Gretsch won the 12.5k individual and sprint pursuit events, along with finishing third in the 7.5k sprint. Masters won gold in the 7.5k sprint, silver in the 12.5k individual, and bronze in the sprint pursuit.

Behind Gretsch and Masters on the podium were Ukranian Vasyl Kravchuk and Taras Rad. In third place was the German duo of Andrea Eskau and Anja Wicker.

For the final race of the World Championships, Ukranians Bohdana Konashuk and Liudmyla Liashenko crossed the finish line in first place in 20 minutes and 41.9 seconds. This was Konashuk’s second gold medal, after winning the women’s standing sprint pursuit the day before. Liashenko also had a successful week, winning two golds and a silver, in addition to today’s gold.

Second place was claimed by the German team of Leonie Maria Walter with guide Christian Krasman and Linn Kazmaier with guide Florian Baumann. Rounding out the podium were Canadians Brittany Hudak and Mark Arendz.

Ukraine has been the most successful nation at this year’s World Championships, winning a total of 20 medals.

Pictures: Wong/IBU + Bergman/Caledonia Nordic Skiing Club

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