Mark Arendz wins gold, crowned Para biathlon World Cup champion

Canadian Paralympic Committee

March 13, 2024

Canadian star goes undefeated this season in the event

Arendz with Globe

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. Mark Arendz of  Hartsville, PEI concluded the Para nordic biathlon season undefeated with a victory Wednesday in the 10 kilometre men’s standing race to capture the overall Para biathlon World Cup crown.

Not only did he win all four biathlon races this season on the circuit, he also swept gold in all three events at the Para biathlon worlds, also held in Prince George last week.

 It’s a third career Crystal Globe for Arendz but this time it sparkled even more as it was his first clinched on home soil.

‘’The feeling is fantastic and it is even more amplified today by being at home,’’ said Arendz, who lost his left arm above the elbow in a farming accident at age seven. ‘’It makes it extra special.

Wearing the orange bib with the word ‘’Leader’’ (referring to his top spot in the World Cup standings), Arendz completed the five laps in 27 minutes and 42 seconds in sunny and above freezing temperatures at the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club.

He missed only one of 20 targets, his first miss this season on the circuit.

Serhii Romaniuk of Ukraine followed in 28:37.5 and Paralympic Games silver medallist Marco Maier of Germany was third in 29:34.5.

Arendz is a 12-time Paralympic Games medallist over the last four Games but considers this season one of his best at age 34.

“When I first started out I was hoping that one day I would have the capabilities to win day in, day out,’’ he said. ‘’And here over the last month I’ve realized that I am that guy.’’

His eagle eye with the rifle is another highlight.

‘’I’m actually more happy with the mental side of my shooting,’’ Arendz said. ‘’When you go into your last round of shooting and you know if you’re perfect you won’t be caught, that’s a different pressure.’’

Cameron makes strong return after illness

In the men’s sitting biathlon 10 kilometre, six-time Paralympic Games medallist Collin Cameron of Bracebridge, Ont., produced a satisfying fourth place in his first race this season. He was only six seconds from the bronze.

Cameron was out all winter with a painful sinus infection and Wednesday’s race was an important test.

‘’Definitely satisfied and really proud of myself,’’ said Cameron, 35, born with shortened lower limbs. ‘’After being out for so long, it’s just wonderful to come back to Prince George and get that feeling of joy and fun of doing the sport I love so much once again.’’

Derek Zaplotinsky of Smoky Lake, Alta., who just missed the podium in two races at the biathlon worlds, wanted a better result than sixth.

‘’I had two small mistakes in the range and that put me back,’’ said Zaplotinsky. ‘’It wasn’t the race I wanted but now it’s all cross country the rest of the week and my skiing has been really good this year.’’

In the women’s standing race, Paralympic medallists Natalie Wilkie of Salmon Arm, B.C., was fifth and Brittany Hudak of Prince Albert, Sask., sixth as the Ukrainians were 1-2-3.

Competition continues Friday with men’s and women’s five kilometre cross country races.


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