Canada’s Emily Weekes and Mark Arendz Narrowly Miss Biathlon Podium at IPC World Cup Finals in Finland
Cross Country Canada – Canadian duo both finish fourth in women’s and men’s standing classifications
VUOKATTI, Fin.—Emily Weekes and Mark Arendz put up a strong fight for the biathlon podium at the IPC World Cup Finals, but both came up a hair short in Vuokatti, Finland on Wednesday.
North Vancouver’s Emily Weekes was on cloud nine after firing a career-best biathlon result at the final series of races of her rookie season on the IPC World Cup where she was fourth. Battling through a difficult season where the results have not been what he has wanted, Arendz, of Hartsville, P.E.I., had one of his better races of the year where he was back in the medal mix.
The 24-year-old Weekes knocked down 18 of her 20 targets in four rounds of shooting on the range to clock a time of 47:32.8 in the women’s standing 12.5-kilometre event.
“It was a really great way to end the season. I really had to gut it out in the skiing, and I just couldn’t hold on to third for the final lap,” said Weekes. “Mark and I both had amazing skis today and that worked to our benefit for sure! A huge thank you to the wax techs for the amazing work once again!”
Weekes was poised to capture the first biathlon medal of her career, but made two costly misses in her final stop at the range. Athletes receive a one minute penalty for every missed shot in the individual race.
“It was unfortunate in my last shooting bout to miss the two, but man what a change from the beginning of the year,” added Weekes. “It was a great feeling to see the changes and can’t wait to see what next season has in store!”
Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova won the women’s standing race with a time of 43:15.2 (0+0+1+1). Russia’s Natalia Bratiuk shot clean to win the silver medal at 43:51.8, while her teammate, Anna Milenina took advantage of fast skis on a poor shooting day to win the bronze medal with a time of 47:02.9 (0+1+2+3).
Meanwhile, two-time Paralympic medallist Mark Arendz, had Canada back in medal contention in the men’s standing classification.
One of the most dominant para-nordic athletes in the world over the last five years in biathlon, Arendz had his top result of the season, but wasn’t quite enough to hop onto the podium. The 26 year old clocked a time of 46:46.7.
“The preparation going into today’s race was much better. Waking up I had the feeling that a good race was possible,” said Arendz. The body reflected that in the skiing. I skied well and was in the mix with all of the best so that is a good sign.”
Arendz missed one shot in each of his final three trips to the range.
“I continued the struggles of this year on the range. That is what stings the most – that one of my strengths is the thing holding me back on several occasions this season.”
Benjamin Daviet, of France, won the deepest division with a time of 44:12.0 (2+0+1+0). The Russians also grabbed the final two spots on the men’s podium. Ivan Kodlozerov was second with a time of 45:34.0 (0+0+1+0). Vladislav Lekomtsev celebrated the bronze medal with a time of 46:39.1 (0+2+1+1).
The IPC World Cup Finals continue on Thursday with the cross-country skiing sprint races.
For complete results, please visit http://www.vuokattievents.fi/results
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