The 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships came to an end with two-teenagers taking gold medals in the long-distance cross-country events in Prince George.
Paying no respect to their elders, Japan's 18-year-old Taiki Kawayoke won the men’s standing race in the Canadian resort before Norway’s Vilde Nilsen, also 18, triumphed in the women’s standing event.
The victory for Nilsen, which she gained in a time of 50min 36.7sec, sealed the Norwegian her third individual gold of the Championships.
"I think this week has been one of the best weeks of my life," she said.
Yet another 18-year-old took the silver medal in that race as Canada’s Natalie Wilkie gained a podium spot for the hosts in 51:10.0, while the bronze was won by Ukraine’s Liudmyla Liashenko, a gold medallist in the mixed team relay yesterday, in 51:56.5.
A time of 54:01.9 sealed Kawayoke the men’s race, giving him the first world title of his career.
The Japanese skier, who came ninth at last year's Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, beat Canada’s Mark Arendz by over 20 seconds, while Ukraine again picked up the bronze through Gryg Vovchynskyi, who crossed the line in 55:36.0.
As usual, four other finals also went across the sitting and visually impaired divisions.
In the women’s sitting final Oksana Masters returned to winning ways to claim her fifth gold medal of the event.
Having finished second in the long-distance biathlon race on Thursday (February 21), the United States skier triumphed this time in 41:12.7.
She was so dominant that for parts of the race she found herself skiing alongside the men.
Her compatriot Kendall Gretsch finished second in 42:32.1, more than 83 seconds behind.
Norway’s Birgit Skarstein came third in 43:21.7.
In the men’s sitting contest ,Martin Fleig put in a dominant performance of his won to win his fourth medal.
The German Paralympic champion also won by more than a minute ahead of Ukraine’s Taras Rad and Belarus’ Dzmitry Loban.
Fleig’s huge lead allowed him to start celebrating metres before the line.
Meanwhile, as expected, Canada gained gold in the men’s visually impaired division through Brian McKeever.
The 13-time Paralympic champion has won the long-distance cross-country title at every Championships since 2009 and dominated again to win in 54.47.0.
He crossed the line a 3:41 ahead of Zebastian Modin from Sweden, with Norway's Erik Bye third.
Austria’s Carina Edlinger also defended her title in the women’s race, leading from start to finish.
She won in 54:36.6 ahead of Oksana Shyshkova from Ukraine and Yadviha Skorabahataya from Belarus.