Mark Arendz Snipes Biathlon Gold at Para Nordic World Cup Finals
PARK CITY, Utah—Canada’s Para Nordic biathlon ace, Mark Arendz, struck gold in the biathlon individual event on Saturday at the Para Nordic World Cup Finals.
The 32-year-old Arendz mixed together fast skiing with near perfect shooting to win the men’s standing 12.5-kilometre race in a time of 33:25.0.
“I wanted to start controlled, respecting the course and altitude and focus on the range,” said Arendz. “That was going to be the difference today.”
The Hartsville, P.E.I. resident had just one miss in his 20 shots taken over four rounds. A one-minute penalty for every missed shot is added to the athlete’s total time.
“I had that one mistake on the range where I lost focus for a fraction of a second, but I could rely on my skiing to pull me out of trouble and onto the top step of the podium,” said the four-time Paralympian.
Ukraine’s Grygorii Vovchynskyi shot clean but had to settle for the silver medal behind Arendz with a time of 33:54.2.
Benjamin Daviet, of France, was not able to recover after two misses in his first stop at the range. Daviet went on to finish third at 36:10.8.
Christina Picton, of Fonthill, Ont., grabbed the only other podium on the day for the Canadian squad.
Picton shot clean to finish third in the women’s 12.5-kilometre sit-skiing race.
The 29-year-old fought through the challenging Soldier Hollow course to finish with a time of 54:36.6.
Kendall Gretsch, of the United States, won gold after completing the course in a time of 46:05.3.
Germany’s Anja Wicker was clean in shooting to win the silver at 46:58.3.
Natalie Wilkie, of Salmon Arm, B.C, was fourth in the women’s standing race at 40:20.7. Brittany Hudak, of Prince Albert, Sask., was fifth (40:48.2).
Derek Zaplotinsky, of Smoky Lake, Alta., was fifth in the men’s sit-ski competition (45:11.4).