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Cross Country Canada – VUOKATTI, Fin.—Canada’s Mark Arendz and Collin Cameron fired their way to the bronze medal step of the podium in the final day of the IPC World Cup in Vuokatti, Finland on Wednesday.

Arendz, of Springton, P.E.I., added to his medal haul at the season-opener with a bronze in the men’s standing biathlon pursuit race. Cameron, of Sudbury, Ont., finished third place as well in the men’s sit-ski races.

The 28-year-old Arendz, an eight-time Paralympic medallist clocked a time of 22:58.2 in the newly-created 7.5-kilometre pursuit race – an equivalent to the biathlon mass start race.

“Trying a new format is always different until you get a feel for it,” said Arendz. “It allowed for great head-to-head racing, and excitement on the range. Shooting under the pressure with competitors’ side-by-side is something new, and it adds a new element to the sport.”

A winner of a gold and two silver medals over the last seven days, Arendz missed one shot in his first of two rounds of shooting.

“I pride myself on my shooting, so I find myself a little frustrated after a miss in my last two races,” added Canada’s closing ceremony flag bearer for the 2018 Paralympic Games. “I need to be clean in order to be in the fight for the top spot. Yesterday I had the ski speed to stay in the game. Today I just didn’t have the speed to do that again as the body is getting tired from the four previous competitions.”

The top-two athletes on the podium shot clean. Benjamin Daviet, of France, was first at 22:21.4. Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset claimed the silver medal with a time of 22:39.0.

Canada’s Collin Cameron also skied onto the bronze-medal step of the podium in the sit-ski races. Cameron also missed one shot in his first stop at the range. He clocked-in at 28:50.5.

The 30-year-old Canuck finished a minute behind frontrunner Daniel Cnossen, of the United States. Cnossen was first to cross the line with a time of 27:45.9 (1+0). Taras Rad, of the Ukraine shot clean to finish second at 27:54.7.

Derek Zaplotinsky, of Smokey Lake, Alta., was ninth with a time of 30:17.7 (1+0).

Meanwhile, Emily Young was the top Canadian in the women’s five-kilometre standing pursuit race. The Vancouver native finished seventh after missing two shots in her final round of shooting, stopping the clock at 21:21.6.

Brittany Hudak, of Prince Albert, Sask., finished one place back in eighth at 21:22.3 (0+0), while Natalie Wilkie, of Salmon Arm, B.C., was 11th at 22:54.0 (3+0).

The Canadian squad returns from Finland for the holiday break a 10-medal haul. Arendz racked up four medals in cross-country skiing and biathlon events, Brian McKeever snagged a gold and two silver in cross-country skiing, while Colling Cameron added a gold and bronze and Natalie Wilkie captured her first World Cup medal, winning the silver in the women’s cross-country ski sprint race.

“It has been a terrific start to the season for our team – in both cross-country skiing and biathlon,” said Arendz. “Personally, I’m encouraged by the results so far, but there are weaknesses that need to be worked on before World Championships. I don’t always have the ski speed early in the season so I’m very pleased with the effort and the results this past week.”




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Chris Dornan

Media and Public Relations

Cross Country Canada

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