© Photo special to The Guardian by Scott Grant/Canadian Paralympic Committee
Canadian Mark Arendz wins a bronze medal in the men's 12.5km standing biathlon at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Russia.
Hartsville's Mark Arendz has won another medal at the Paralympics in Russia.
He won a bronze in the men’s standing 12.5 km biathlon in Sochi today. He finished in a time of 30:24.6, which was 6.7 seconds ahead of fourth-place finisher Aleksandr Pronkov of Russia.
Arendz and Pronkov were neck-and-neck for the bronze medal for most of the race, before Arendz used a strong final leg to earn his spot on the podium.
"To get a medal is awesome and that was the goal," said Arendz. "There were mistakes out there both in shooting and on the course so it was not a perfect race, but anytime you are on the podium I have to be happy because this is strong field."
The race was won by Azat Karachurin of Russia, who was the defending world champion in the event. Nils-Erik Ulset of Norway beat out Arendz for silver, finishing 6.4 seconds ahead of the Canadian.
Arendz was just seven tenths away from Paralympic gold in the men’s 7.5 km standing biathlon on Saturday, but just missed out when Russia’s Vladislav Lekomtcev pipped him for the win. He could add another medal in the men’s 15 km standing biathlon on Friday, where he won bronze at the world championships.
In a race that puts a premium on shooting, Arendz rattled off 19 of 20 shots in his four rounds on the range. The miss in this third bout of shooting sent Arendz to do one 150-metre penalty loop.
"The warm up was tough today, and it was hard to see the targets early (because of the fog)," said Arendz. "It was the same conditions for everyone. I wasn't perfect in shooting so I know there are still mistakes that need to be cleaned up."
The two-medal week makes Arendz the most successful Canadian biathlete at the Paralympics. Recognizing the bright future ahead of him, four years ago the wide-eyed Canadian walked into his first Paralympic Stadium in 2010. His goal was take in the Paralympic experience. This time around things are different.
"This time it is strictly business," said Arendz. "I have had four years of experience and feel that I am strong in all race distances. I want to be on the podium every time. It was not a perfect race today. I still haven't been perfect shooting, and I don't want to leave Sochi until I do that."