Para-Nordic Athlete Brittany Hudak Skis to Sixth at IPC World Cup in Germany
Cross Country Canada —Rookie Collin Cameron cracks first top-10 in men’s sit-ski race—
FINSTERAU, Ger —Four of Canada’s rising stars in para-nordic skiing cracked the top-10 in distance races at the IPC World Cup in Finsterau, Germany on Thursday.
Two young guns on the women’s squad, Brittany Hudak (Prince Albert, Sask.) and Emily Weekes (North Vancouver), finished sixth and seventh respectively in the women’s 15-kilometre standing event. Competing in his first series of IPC World Cup races, Collin Cameron of Sudbury, Ont., was ninth. Derek Zaplotinsky (Smokey Lake, Alta.) returned to IPC World Cup where he was 10th in the men’s 15-kilometre sit-ski race.
“It was a tough day with icy conditions and we may have missed the wax a bit, but the team put in a solid effort today,” said Robin McKeever, head coach, Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team. “Our goal for this trip was to leverage this World Cup to provide some elite level competition for our development opportunities. That was a surprise and very strong effort by Collin today who is showing tremendous potential.”
The future is bright for Canada’s para program with a growing pool of athletes in their early 20’s following the path of the legendary Brian McKeever.
Brittany Hudak, 22, is developing into one of the best in the world. On Thursday, she clocked a sixth-place time of 51:10.6. Emily Weekes, a 24-year-old rookie who came to the sport after a wrestling injury, was seventh at 53:15.5. Development athlete, Lindsey McDonald was ninth at 1:10:33.5.
Russia’s Anna Milenina set the time to beat in the women’s standing division at 47:23.6. Oleksandra Kononova, of the Ukraine, skied to the silver medal with a time of 47:49.4, while Russia’s Ekaterina Rumyantseva rounded out the podium in third place at 50:18.5.
The rookie, Collin Cameron, led the charge for the Canucks in the men’s 15-kilometre sit-skiing event. Cameron, who came to the sport from sledge hockey, has quickly developed in his first year on the Nordic sled. Cameron placed ninth with a time of 47:54.1. Derek Zaplotinsky was 10th in his return to World Cup racing with a time of 48:05.0. A 2014 Paralympian, Yves Bourque, of Becancour, Que., was 11th at 49:19.9.
Russia grabbed the top-two spots on the men’s sit-ski podium. Ivan Golubkov was first at 40:02.1, while Aleksandr Davidovich skied to the silver medal at 41:37.1.
Maksym Yarovyi, of the Ukraine skied to the final spot on the podium after stopping the clock at 41:38.2.
The IPC World Cup continues on Friday in Germany with the biathlon distance races.
Complete race results can be found at http://www.paralympic.org/nordic-skiing/calendar-results
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