Weekend recap: Mark Arendz wins three straight World Cup races for first time

Canadian Paralympic Committee

February 05, 2024

Canadian Para swimmers collect 12 medals at World Series

Nordic world cup medals

For the first time in his career, Mark Arendz has earned three consecutive World Cup wins at the Para nordic event which concluded Sunday in Martell, Italy.

The 11-time Paralympic Games medallist from Hartsville, PEI was first in the men’s standing 7.5 kilometres, 10 kilometres and pursuit. In 7.5 and 10 kilometre races, he was perfect in the shooting range hitting the target 35 straight times over the two events.

“It’s always been two victories and then another medal so it’s great to see the progression and consistency coming through from training to competition,” said Arendz, who won the season-opening race a week ago in Toblach, Italy. “I made sure I kept it clean. It’s a great way to finish the week as we head into a break back home in Canmore.’’

On the women’s side, Brittany Hudak of Prince Albert, Sask. also reached two podiums with gold in the women’s standing 10 kilometre and bronze in the 7.5 kilometre. Natalie Wilkie of Salmon Arm, B.C. added a bronze in the 10 kilometre.

“I was trying to keep a consistent pace,” said Hudak. “With the high altitude, you come into the range and it feels a bit harder and sometimes shaky when shooting. I had one miss but tried to stay calm knowing I was in good position and leading into the final round.”

Kalle Ericsson and guide Sierra Smith win first World Cup gold

Over at the 2026 Paralympic Games venue in Cortina, Italy, the new visually impaired tandem of Kalle Ericsson and his guide Sierra Smith of Ottawa won their first World Cup gold with a victory in the men’s slalom at the World Cup event which concluded on Friday.

“It feels a little surreal,” said Ericsson. “First World Cup win feels pretty awesome. Didn’t know what to expect joining the World Cup circuit and it’s been an awesome experience so far and excited to see what we can do in the future.”

Veteran Kurt Oatway of Calgary collected two medals with silver in the men’s sitting downhill and bronze in the Super G.

“Pretty satisfied with today’s third place,” said Oatway. “I had a good approach today and I hit the majority of my cues. Had a big mistake midway through the course, but I recovered well and was able to carry momentum to the bottom.’’

Alexis Guimond of Gatineau, Que. added a bronze in the men’s standing Super G.

Rivard, Routliffe lead Canadian medal charge at Para swimming World Series

Tess Routliffe and Aurélie Rivard each won two gold medals and Danielle Dorris added a fifth individual victory to lead a 12-medal performance for Canadian Para swimmers at the season opening World Series event in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Routliffe, of Caledon, Ont. posted victories in the women’s 200-m individual medley and 100 breaststroke as well as a bronze in the 50 butterfly in the multi class races. Standings are determined by how close swimmers are to their respective class world records.

“I’m really happy with the result,’’ Routliffe told Sportcom. “I feel that I am exactly where I want to be at the start of the season and that’s encouraging.’’

Rivard, from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. topped the field in the women’s 50 and 100 freestyle races while Dorris took gold in the women’s 50 fly.

“The goal was just to swim as quickly as possible to see where we are before the selections which are in three months,’’ the 10-time Paralympic medallist said about her 50 win on Sunday. ‘’I’m happy to have finished with a good time in the 50 and to have broken 28 seconds.’’

Canada also won gold in the mixed medley relay with Routliffe, Rivard, James Leroux and Philippe Vachon.

Reid Maxwell of St.Albert, Alta. took the men’s 400 free.

Katie Cosgriffe of Oakville, Ont. added a silver in the 100 backstroke, Arianna Hunsicker of Surrey, B.C. was a double bronze medallist with third in the 50 and 100 free, and Nicolas-Guy Turbide of Quebec City was third in the men’s 50 free.


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