Derek Zaplotinsky celebrates career best fourth-place finish
PRINCE GEORGE, BC, Feb. 20, 2019 /CNW/ - Canada's Mark Arendz completed his medal hat trick at the midway point of the 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships on Wednesday after winning a bronze medal in the biathlon sprint competition in Prince George, B.C.
The 28-year-old added a bronze to a silver in cross-country skiing and a bronze in biathlon that he captured earlier this week. Arendz finished the men's 7.5-kilometre race with a time of 21:04.5, bringing his career world championship medal total to 11.
"I'm really happy with things today. I started strong and tried to put the hurt on the other guys on the snow but when we all go clean it is tough," said Arendz. "I'm really happy with the range today. One shot was a bit borderline, playing with the danger zone, but it went well."
France's Benjamin Daviet continued his dominance of the 2019 world championships, setting the time to beat at 20:17.0.
Arendz, of Springton, P.E.I., finished just five seconds out of the silver-medal position occupied by Ukraine's Grygorii Vovchynskyi, who finished at 20:59.1.
All three podium finishers shot clean in their two trips to the range.
"When we are all shooting clean, I knew it was going to come down to a strong ski race," said Arendz.
"There are still a few little pieces missing that I hope to clean up. It's been awesome competing here in Canada. I think this is one of the best community venues we have in the country. This community comes out to cheer us on. We have felt that presence here all week, so it has been great to compete in front of them."
Kyle Barber, of Lively, Ont., finished 10th at 27:50.1 (3+1).
Earlier in the day, Canada's Derek Zaplotinsky had the race of his life finishing fourth in the men's 7.5-kilometre sit-skiing race. Zaplotinsky, of Smokey Lake, Alta., completed three laps around the 2.5 kilometre loop in a time of 26:04.1.
"It feels great to finally put together a good biathlon race," said Zaplotinsky.
"The shooting was good, and the skiing was really good too. I'm really tired right now but really happy. I gave it all I had on that one."
Competing in just his third season on the National Development Team, the 23-year-old rattled off nine of 10 targets in his two stops at the range on Wednesday. Athletes are forced to ski a 100-metre penalty loop for every missed shot.
Zaplotinsky also had a career-best cross-country ski race on Monday when he was fifth in the middle-distance competition.
"The goal was to replicate my middle-distance cross-country ski race," said the 2018 Paralympian, who enjoyed the warmer conditions. "Our wax techs did a great job getting the skis ready today. I'm going to get some rest and get ready for tomorrow."
Ukraine's Taras Rad shot clean to win the gold medal with a time of 24:04.2 in the sit-skiing division. Germany's Martin Fleig was second at 24:19.4, while Aaron Pike of the United States locked up the bronze medal at 25:39.7.
Canada's Brittany Hudak was sixth in the women's standing biathlon sprint event. Hudak, of Prince Albert, Sask., missed one shot in her first of two rounds of shooting, finishing with a time of 21:53.2 (1+0). Emily Young, of North Vancouver, was eighth at 22:36.6 (0+1).
Ukraine's Liudmyla Liashenko won the women's standing classification with a time of 19:47.2 (0+1).
Thanks to Arendz's three-medal performance, along with a gold and silver medal won by Collin Cameron, Canada now has five podium finishes at the 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships.
Complete Biathlon Sprint Results: https://bit.ly/2GE6iTM
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