Mark Arendz wins biathlon bronze at Paralympics
Canadian earns 2nd medal of Games
By Brandon Hicks, CBC Sports Posted: Mar 11, 2014 6:17 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 8:35 AM ET
Canada’s Mark Arendz won his second medal of the Paralympics on Tuesday, taking bronze in the men’s standing 12.5 km biathlon in Sochi.
The 23-year-old crossed the line in 30:24.6, which was 6.7 seconds ahead of fourth-place finisher Aleksandr Pronkov of Russia.
Arendz, of Hartsville, P.E.I., and Pronkov were neck-and-neck for the bronze medal for most of the race, before Arendz used a strong final leg to earn his spot on the podium.
Nobody could catch Azat Karachurin of Russia, the defending world champion in the event. He led the entire way and finished in a time of 29:30.0, nearly a minute ahead of his closest competitor, earning yet another gold medal for the host country.
"When I won bronze [on Saturday in the 7.5km standing event], I was fighting with myself," Karachurin said. "Today, I won gold and I was fighting with the other competitors.
"I wanted to win so much. I trained so hard and now I'm just happy."
Nils-Erik Ulset of Norway just beat out Arendz for silver, finishing 6.4 seconds ahead of the Canadian.
Arendz is second in the biathlon world rankings this season and was just seven tenths away from Paralympic gold in the men’s 7.5 km standing biathlon on Saturday, but just missed out when Russia’s Vladislav Lekomtcev pipped him for the win.
He could add another medal in the men’s 15 km standing biathlon on Friday, where he won bronze at the world championships.
Difficult course conditions
Course conditions were again a major factor during races on Tuesday. Balmy temperatures and sticky snow have been a theme so far in Sochi’s mountain cluster, and rain and fog were added to the mix to make for an extremely challenging day of competition.
Russia completed its second podium sweep in the men’s 12.5 km sitting biathlon, as the Russian Paralympic team continues to dominate the Nordic disciplines.
Roman Petushkov won his third gold of the Games, finishing over 40 seconds ahead of teammate Alexey Bychenok. Fellow Russian Grigory Murygin won bronze, over one minute off Petushkov’s pace. Russians occupied the top four spots in the race as Ivan Goncharov was fourth behind Murygin.
Russia’s Alena Kaufman won her second gold of the Games by taking the women’s 10 km standing biathlon title. She also won the 6 km standing crown earlier in the Paralympics. She finished in 29:57.1, which was 36.6 seconds ahead of Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova in second. Natalia Bratiuk of Russia won bronze. Caroline Bisson of Gatineau, Que., finished 11th.
Germany’s Anja Wicker won the women’s 10 km sitting biathlon, finishing in a time of 32:54.4. Russia’s Svetlana Konovalova won her third medal of the Games by finishing in the silver medal position, 42.3 seconds back of Wicker. Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Pavlenko added a bronze in the event to go along with the gold she won in the women’s 12 km sitting cross-country race.
For the second time in as many races, medal contender Andrea Eskau of Germany withdrew during the race. She also pulled out of the women’s 12 km sitting cross-country competition due to asthma on Sunday, after winning gold in the sitting 6 km biathlon event on Saturday.
Russia’s Mikhalina Lysova and Iuliia Budaleeva finished 1-2 in the women’s 10 km visually impaired biathlon, with Oksana Shyshkova in the bronze medal position.
Vitaliy Lukyanenko of the Ukraine won the men’s 12.5 km visually impaired biathlon. Nikolay Polukhin finished 10.3 seconds behind for silver, while Vasili Shaptsiaboi took the bronze.