brian

Brian McKeever 

(ISN) – ASAHIKAWA, Jpn.—Canada’s Para-Nordic squad celebrated a medal-winning hat trick on Saturday in Asahikawa, Japan winning gold, silver in bronze.

Para-Nordic king, Brian McKeever (Canmore, Alta.) won the gold in the men’s 10-kilometre classic-ski visually impaired event, Brittany Hudak (Prince Albert, Sask.) claimed the silver in the women’s five-kilometre standing race, while biathlon specialist – Mark Arendz of Hartsville, P.E.I. stepped onto the bronze-medal position of the podium.

“We have only been here two days and are all quite sleepy with jet lag, but we are pretty happy with the results all-around today,” said Robin McKeever, head coach, Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team. “The skis were really good, and I am happy with how everyone skied. They were all solid from start-to-finish.”

The younger McKeever, Brian who is fresh off his World Championship title, hammered the field by more than two minutes. Norway’s Erik Bye was the next best finisher, followed by Anthony Chalencon, of France, in the bronze medal position.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old rookie Brittany Hudak continued her solid season, claiming the silver in the women’s standing race with a tiem of 16:53.6.

Russia’s Ekaterina Rumyantseva was first at 16:28.9. Japan’s Yurika Abe skied to the bronze at 18:24.0.

Mark Arendz completed the medal collection for Canada by winning his first career medal in a distance cross-country ski race. The two-time Paralympic medallist captured the bronze medal in the men’s 10-kilometre standing race after clocking a time of 28:47.5. Running in fifth spot for most of the race, Arendz hammered the pace to climb onto the podium.

Chris Klebl, of Canmore, Alta., was the closest Canuck to the top spot on the podium outside of McKeever but finished in fourth spot in the men’s five-kilometre sit-ski race. Klebl, who won a gold medal on the final day of the 2014 Paralympics, clocked-in at 15:40.5. American, Andrew Soule, won the race with a time of 15:33.2.

The IPC Nordic World Cup continues on Sunday in Japan.

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