Canada's Mark Arendz opens with biathlon gold at para-nordic worlds
2-time Paralympic medallist shot perfect through 4 rounds
Canada's Mark Arendz struck gold on the opening day of the 2017 world para-nordic ski world championships, winning the men's 12.5-kilometre standing biathlon race on Saturday in Finsterau, Germany.
The two-time Paralympic medallist from Hartsville, P.E.I. enjoyed a perfect day of skiing and in his four rounds of shooting on the range to clock a golden time of 30 minutes and 39.3 seconds.
"I have left the last few world championships wanting more, especially after my success in Sochi, so there has been a lot of work to get this," Arendz said. "To accomplish this in my first race is a huge confidence boost as I head into the rest of the week. It is a fantastic way to kick off the week."
It was just the second world championship title for the 26-year-old, and first podium at the premiere international race in a non-Paralympic year in three years. Arendz won a gold in a biathlon sprint race, along with two bronze in 2013.
"The biggest change for me has come from my approach to shooting," Arendz said. "My new [shooting] coach has really brought my shooting back to the level that it once was. I was repeating too many bad habits, so the key was to rebuild the shooting from the ground up. Today, I proved the shooting is once again back on top.
"Shooting clean at major events is key. I controlled what I could on the range. On the course, I worked on areas where I am stronger and held a consistent pace."
Arendz finished 25 seconds ahead of the silver-medal winner from France, Benjamin Davlet, who stopped the clock at 31:14.3 after missing two shots on the range. Grygorii Vovchynskyi, of the Ukraine, was third with a time of 31:22.8.