SUMMERSIDE – Canada’s Mark Arendz put a silver lining around the opening biathlon race of the IPC World Cup season in Vuokatti, Finland, on Saturday.
The eight-time Paralympic medallist from Hartsville, P.E.I., took advantage of great skis and a solid day of shooting to clock a time of 34:39.2 in a 12.5-kilometre nail biter.
“It was a great way to start the biathlon season. It was a tight race the whole way through. I skied solid and I’m so happy with my overall performance,” said the 28-year-old, who competed in the men’s standing classification.
Knowing his body was in medal-winning shape following a golden performance in the men’s standing cross-country ski distance race on Wednesday, the three-time Paralympian dialed in on his shooting Saturday.
“Most my focus went into the shooting in all four bouts on the range. I knew staying clean throughout the race would be key,” added Arendz. “I felt very comfortable on the range and it resulted in a great day of shooting.”
Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset topped the sharp-shooting Canuck to claim the gold with a time of 34:18.1 despite missing one shot in his third stop at the range. Benjamin Daviet, of France, skied to the bronze medal at 35:17.4 (1+0+1+1).
Sunday, Collin Cameron sprinted to his second career victory, leading Canada’s Para Nordic squad to a triple-medal day at the IPC World Cup event in Finland. Natalie Wilkie, 17, claimed silver in the women’s standing classic-ski race while Brian McKeever completed the podium hat trick for the Canadians with a silver in the men’s visually impaired classification.
Arendz made the sprint finals, but fell just shy of the podium in fourth place in a deep men’s standing classification.