February 25, 2013, Solleftea, Swe (ISN) – Brian Mckeever and Erik Carleton got the 2013 IPC World Championships off to a perfect start, winning the men’s visually impaired classic sprint race on Monday in Solleftea, Sweden
The 33-year-old McKeever and his guide Erik Carleton, both of Canmore, Alta., battled through difficult conditions, while taking advantage of some luck, to lock up the first World Championship title for the Canucks this year.
“It was a good ski today by Brian and we capitalized on a fall from the Swedish athlete in the final to grab the victory,” said Robin McKeever, head coach, Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team. “Today was all about waxing, and our techs were amazing as the conditions changed rapidly.”
Watching Canada’s Mark Arendz fall in his semifinal heat of the men’s standing category after his skis grabbed around a corner, the Canadian wax crew scrambled to change McKeever’s set up in time for his quest for gold.
Sweden’s Zebastian Modin and Albin Ackerot settled for the silver medal, while Russia’s Oleg Ponomarev skied to the bronze step of the podium.
The fall for Arendz, of Springton, P.E.I., bumped the 22 year old into 12th spot. The men’s standing division was won by Russia’s Vladislav Lekomtcev.
Chris Klebl, of Canmore, Alta., was the only other Canadian to suit up on Monday. Klebl took on the punishing sit-ski course, but unfortunately did not qualify for the heats with the elite group of 12, placing 13th.
Russia’s Roman Petushkov won the men’s sit-ski division.
The IPC World Championships can be viewed on the IPC’s YouTube Channel at www.YouTube.com/ParalympicSportTV. Next up on Solleftea are the distance races on Tuesday.
For complete Canadian and IPC World Cup results, please visit http://www.paralympic.org/Events/Solleftea2013/Schedule