Arendz finishes 11th in biathlon while dealing with intense head cold

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Mark Arendz competes Friday in the men's 15km standing biathlon at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Hartsville’s Mark Arendz finished 11th in the 15-kilometre biathlon Friday at the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

The 24-year-old said he was dealing with an intense head cold, but decided to compete and finished in 40:34.2 (1+0+0+1).

“Starting today was touch and go but we made the decision this morning to do it,” said Arendz. “The skiing and shooting has been there and the fitness has been incredible, so it is frustrating that I got sick now.”

The long distance biathlon puts a premium on shooting with every missed shot costing the athlete a one-minute penalty. Arendz missed two under cool, cloudy and calm conditions at the Laura Stadium.

“If there is any race you have to rely on the shooting it is this one and I missed it a little,” added Arendz, who earned silver and bronze medals during the past week.

“The focus was there today. It is just a lot battling the ups and downs with the sick. . . I wish I stayed healthy. Makes me hungry for another four years I guess."

Ukraine’s Grygorii Vovchynskyi shot clean to capture gold in 37:41.1. Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset was also clean on the range to win the silver at 37:44.2, while Russia's Kirill Mikhaylov went 20-for-20 in shooting to post a third-place time of 37:45.6

Arendz became the first Canadian ever to win a silver medal in biathlon at the Paralympic Winter Game. He added a bronze medal in the middle distance race.

He is questionable for the cross-country skiing relay race, which takes centre stage on Saturday in Sochi.

Geographic location: Sochi, Russia, Laura Stadium Ukraine Norway

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