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Hartsville native Mark Arendz put a golden stamp on the opening weekend of para-nordic racing, winning the men's individual biathlon race on Monday in the Republic Of 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 more than two years in biathlon. Arendz clocked a winning time of 32 minutes 56.3 seconds 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,” Arendz said. “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 and posting a time of 33:30.4.