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Cross Country Canada – PYEONGCHANG, Kor.—Mark Arendz put a golden stamp on a stellar opening weekend of para-nordic racing in 2016 by winning the men’s individual biathlon race on Monday in Pyeongchang, Korea.


Building on two silver medal finishes earlier in the week, the 25-year-old two-time Paralympic medallist, stormed to his first gold medal in over two years in the toughest biathlon discipline. Arendz, of Hartsville, P.E.I. clocked a winning time of 32:56.3 in the men’s 12.5-kilometre standing race.


“I felt great on the skis and even more confident than yesterday on how to ski the course,” said Arendz, who was the overall biathlon World Cup winner in 2013. “I controlled the race right from the start. I was making great time on the skis and focused on smooth shooting bouts. Everything today felt more confident and comfortable.”


Arendz was nearly perfect on the range, shooting clean until his last of four rounds of shots where he missed one target before hammering the pace to the finish line.


“It was a solid field here so to put the race together a performance worthy of a win feels awesome,” added the soft-spoken Islander. “There are a few things I can still do to clean things up, but this has been a great stepping stone for the rest of the season.”


Arendz shared the podium with two of his top Russian rivals. Ivan Kodlozerov shot clean to win the silver medal at 33:03.7, while Vladislav Lekomtsev skied to the bronze medal despite missing one shot in each of his four rounds of shooting, posting a time of 33:30.4.


Arendz will head to the final two World Cup races of the season with good vibes from the 2018 Paralympic venue. He skied to a silver in a cross-country ski sprint race to kick off the weekend, and also celebrated a second-place finish in the biathlon sprint yesterday.


It was a stellar start to the New Year for Canada’s Para-Nordic squad. In addition to Arendz’s three medals, national team rookie Emily Webster won her first international bronze medal, while Chris Klebl and Brittany Hudak also claimed one silver medal each.


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Chris Dornan

Media and Public Relations

Cross Country Canada

T: 403-620-8731