March 1 - Roman Petushkov has scooped his third gold medal of the 2013 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Nordic Skiing World Championships, with the Russian winning the men's sitting biathlon middle distance event in Sollefteå today.
The 35-year-old, who has been nominated for February's IPC Athlete of the Month award, only missed one shot out of 20 and had a good day on the slope in difficult conditions to clock a final time of 35min 56.9sec, just 14 seconds ahead of Japan's Kozo Kubo, who won his third silver medal of the Championships in Sweden.
Kubo, the IPC's athlete of the month for January, hit all 20 targets in the shooting range, but could not keep up with the strong performance of Petushkov on the slope.
He was followed by Petushkov's compatriot Ramil Ilalutdinov, who had a clean sheet on the shooting range, but still lost 47 seconds on the slope to claim bronze – his second medal of the event after winning silver in the cross-country skiing sprint.
After having a tough time in the cross country skiing events at the beginning of the championships, Ukrainian Olena Iurkovska was back on top form to secure her second gold medal two days in a row by finishing in a time of 38:11.8 and with three missed shots.
The multiple Paralympic champion won the race by 8.6 seconds, leaving the silver medal to Russia's Maria Iovleva, who despite not having her best day on the shooting range – she missed five shots and had to ski as many penalty laps – put in a strong performance on the course to finish in 38.20.4.
Just two seconds behind the cross-country skiing sprint race world champion and Vancouver 2010 Paralympic biathlon middle distance gold medallist, came Svetlana Konovalova, the overall biathlon world cup winner of last season, missing three shots and clocking a time of 38:22.4.
Meanwhile, it was a double victory for Ukraine in the men's standing category, with Ihor Reptyukh and Gryogorii Vovchynskyi finishing first and second respectively.
After having already won two bronze medals at these championships, Reptyukh stood on top of the podium with three missed shots and a time of 36:55.9, while for Vovchynskyi it was another silver medal, after his second place finish in the biathlon short distance race yesterday.
The bronze medal went to yesterday's world champion Mark Arendz, after the Canadian once more demonstrated his good shooting form, but also was not able to ski as fast as Reptyukh, and so finished in 37:39.3 – just two seconds off the silver medal.
Ukraine's third gold medal of the day came from Iryna Bui in the women's standing category, when the 17-year-old put on an impressive show in the shooting range to hit all 20 targets, before crossing the finish line in a time of 31:24.4.
Second place finisher Anna Milenina of Russia was more than 54 seconds behind, having missed two shots, and having to settle for silver again, the same medal she won in the biathlon short distance race yesterday.
The bronze medal went to Ukrainian Oleksandra Kononova, who won her fourth overall medal of the tournament and her second bronze medal, when she missed four targets and finished just seven seconds ahead of fourth place finisher Shoko Ota from Japan.
Russia's double world champion Mikhalina Lysova and guide Alexey Ivanov added a third gold medal to her personal tally, having a perfect day in the shooting range and on the course, with no missed targets and a finishing time of 30:22.1 to put almost two minutes between herself and silver medallist Iuliia Budaleeva and guide Tatiana Maltseva, also from Russia.
For the first time at these World Championships it was not a Russian podium sweep in the women's visually impaired category, as Oksana Shyshkova from Ukraine and her guide Volodymyr Ivanov managed to break the nation's dominance in this category and take home the bronze medal, with two missed targets and an overall time of 34:58.6.
Russian Nikolay Polukhin and his guide Andrey Tokarev won the gold medal in the men's visually impaired biathlon middle distance race after missing just one target in the shooting range and finishing in a time of 35:53.8, more than one minute ahead of Ukraine's Vitaliy Lukyanenko and guide Boris Babar.
Lukyanenko's teammate Anatolii Kovalevskyi and guide Oleksandr Mushkyn took home the bronze medal after having won a silver medal in yesterday's race.
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