Two-time Paralympic gold medallist Vitaliy Lukyanenko claimed his first victory since the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Para-Nordic World Cup in Western Center in Ukraine.
The home skier, guided by Borys Babar, triumphed in the men’s visually impaired biathlon sprint event by clocking a time of 22min 29.8sec.
It was a welcome return to form for Lukyanenko, a gold medallist at the Turin 2006 and Sochi 2014 Paralympics, before next month’s World Championships in Finsterau.
He will expect to face the challenge of his team-mates Iurii Utkin and Iaroslav Reshetynskiy in Germany next month, with the duo having completed today’s podium in times of 22:46.1 and 23:01.1.
Babar would be back out on course later to guide Olga Prylutska to success in the women’s visually impaired race.
The duo would end in 19:51.9, which would prove enough for Prylutska to earn her first victory of the season.
Germany’s Clara Klug and guide Martin Hartl ended in second place by finishing in 21:12.9, while Oksana Shyshkova would end third in 21:33.6.
Shyshkova, guided by Vitalii Kazakov, had not lost a biathlon race since 2015 prior to the competition.
Ukrainian success continued with Oleksandra Kononova securing her fifth victory in Western Center in the women’s standing event.
The 25-year-old dropped two shots during the race, but still ended over 30 seconds ahead of her nearest challenger by crossing the line in a time of 18:29.5.
Her compatriots Liudmyla Liashenko and Iryna Bui trailed home in 19:10.7 and 20:27.4 to complete the podium positions.
The men’s event saw France’s Benjamin Daviet win in 21:01.1 to move to the top of the overall World Cup rankings, ahead of Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset.
Ulset would finish as the runner-up today by clocking 21.49.4, while Ukraine’s Ihor Reptyukh was third in 21:53.6.
A fourth and final victory for home athletes came in the men’s sitting competition, as Taras Rad triumphed in 23:40.8.
Belarus’ Dzmitry Loban split two Ukrainians on the podium by finishing in 24:40.2, pushing Maksym Yarovyi into third, as the Ukrainian clocked 26:39.8.
The concluding race of the day saw Belarus’ Lidziya Hrafeyeva win the women’s sitting discipline, shooting clean to cross in 24:06.3.
She finished clear of Germany’s Anja Wicker and Andrea Eskau, who ended in 25:30.1 and 26:39.8 respectively.
Competition will draw to a close tomorrow with a middle distance races.