McKeever/Carleton sweep gold, Chris Klebl and Colette Bourgonje ski to bronze
VUOKATTI, Fin.—Canada’s Para-Nordic athletes added three more medals on Tuesday to their haul at the IPC World Cup Finals, bringing their week total to seven.
Brian McKeever and his guide, Erik Carleton, completed their golden sweep of the three cross-country ski events in the men’s visually impaired category. McKeever, a 10-time Paralympic medallist, dominated the men’s 10-kilometre skate-ski race while battling through the heavy winds to clock a time of 25:43.7.
“I’m feeling better than I have all year. My shape has been building and it was a pretty solid day all-around for me,” said McKeever. “My skate skiing has been stronger this year and I put it together for the first time in a Para race.”
McKeever knocked of his Russian rivals, Stanislav Chokhlaev and Maksim Pirogov, in skate skiing for the first time this year. The Russians posted a second-place time of 26:39.3. Two other Russian skiers, Nikolay Polukhin and his guide, IIya Cherepanov, rounded out the men’s visually impaired podium in third at 26:39.9.
Canada also grabbed two bronze medals in the men’s and women’s sit-skiing races.
Chris Klebl, of Canmore, Alta., brought his season medal total to six after claiming the bronze in the men’s 10-kilometre sit-ski race with a time of 29:33.8. The 40-year-old Klebl finished one minute off the golden pace set by Russia’s Ramil Ilalutdinov at 28:33.3. Roman Petushkov, also of Russia, claimed the bronze at 28:55.0.
Saskatoon’s Colette Bourgonje rounded out the trio of medals after claiming her second-straightbronze in the sit-skiing middle distance races. The reigning World Championcrossed the finish line with a time of 16:15.1 in the women’s five-kilometre race.
Norway’s Mariann Marthinsen battled her way back to the top of the podium with a time of 15:52.2, while Lyudmyla Pavlenko, of the Ukraine, finished second at 16:02.1.
The IPC World Cup Finals continue on Thursday in Finland with the start of the biathlon events.
Cross Country Canada 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 55,000 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, Teck Resources Ltd., Canadian Pacific, and Statoil – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and Own the Podium, Cross Country Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on Cross Country Canada, please visit us at www.cccski.com
Complete IPC World Cup Results: