—Flatlander leads Canucks in short distance biathlon race to kick off premier IPC event—
Source: Cross Country Canada
CABLE, Wis.—Canada’s rising young star in Para-Nordic skiing, Brittany Hudak, took a major step forward in her development after posting a career-best fifth place finish in the women’s short distance biathlon race at the opening day of competition of the 2015 IPC Nordic World Skiing Championships in Cable, Wisconsin.
Discovered while working at a Canadian Tire store in her hometown of Prince Albert, Sask. by legendary Canadian Paralympian, Colette Bourgonje, the 21-year-old Hudak shot clean to clock a fifth-place time of 20 minutes, 27.8 seconds in the women’s six-kilometre standing event.
“I’m definitely happy with the result, and was surprised with my shooting,” said Hudak, who represented Canada at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. “My shooting gave me extra motivation to ski harder. This gives me a lot of confidence now going into the cross-country ski races that are coming up.”
“Brittany finishing fifth in a biathlon race, and shooting clean, is nothing short of amazing,” said Robin McKeever, head coach, Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team. “With a little more training in the range, she will be able to shoot with the same accuracy at a quicker pace.”
Oleksandra Kononova, of the Ukraine, won the women’s standing division despite missing three shots. Kononova stopped the clock at 18:42.2 (2+1). Canada’s Para-Nordic rookie, Emily Weekes of North Vancouver, struggled with her shooting to place 12th at 28:15.4 (5+3).
It was a tough start to the elite Para-Nordic dance for two-time Paralympic biathlon medallist, Mark Arendz. The 24 year old from Hartsville, Prince Edward Island, missed one target in each of his two bouts of shooting, dropping him to sixth place with a time of 20:00.4 in the men’s 7.5-kilometre standing race.
Russia’s Vladislav Lekomtcev shot clean, setting the time to beat at 18:40.2 to capture the world championship crown in the standing division.
Another Canadian gaining his first major international para-biathlon race experience was Derek Zaplotinsky. The Smoky Lake, Alta. resident rounded out the men’s 7.5-kilometre sit-ski field in 18th with a time of 31:29.6 (1+3).
The IPC Nordic World Skiing Championships continue on Sunday with the cross-country long distance skate-ski races.
CCC is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 60,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams and Para-Nordic Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, Mackenzie Investments and Statoil – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2Ten, CCC develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on CCC, please visit us at www.cccski.com.
Complete IPC World Championship Biathlon Results: http://www.paralympic.org/cable-2015
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