(ISN) – ASAHIKAWA, Jpn.—Canada’s para-nordic athletes rattled off three medals for the second-straight day at the IPC World Cup in Asahikawa, Japan on Sunday.
National Team rookie, Brittany Hudak of Prince, Alta., Sask., captured her first career victory in the women’s standing division, while Mark Arendz, of Hartsville, P.E.I. skied to the bronze in men’s standing and Chris Klebl (Canmore, Alta.) grabbed the bronze in the men’s sit-ski race.
The 21 year old Hudak, who got introduced to the sport just two years ago, has been solid all year and finally broke through with her first career win in the classic-ski sprint race on the IPC World Cup.
“The learning curve has been so huge for me,” said Hudak heading into the race. “Now having the opportunity to attend national training camps, particularly the New Zealand camp this summer, I have noticed a huge improvement in my technique. It has been such an advantage for me to be in the same environment with the high-performance athletes, seeing how the train and learning from them.”
Japan’s Yurika Abe was second, while Russia’s Ekaterina Rumyantseva grabbed the bronze medal.
Two-time Paralympic medallist, Mark Arendz, won his second-straight bronze medal. The 24 year old had his personal best finish in a classic cross-country ski sprint race.
“The snow conditions were changing throughout the day, but the staff gave me great boards and I finished a close third,” said Arendz.
Russia’s Vladislav Lekomtcev won the men’s standing race. Japan’s Yoshihiro Nitta was second.
Chris Klebl, of Canmore, Alta., skied to the podium for the first time this weekend to complete the medal hat-trick for the Canucks. With the bronze medal around his neck, Klebl shared the podium with Americans Andrew Soule and Daniel Cnossen who finished first and second respectively.
Meanwhile, Emily Nishikawa led the Canucks in the final tune-up race before the 2015 Nordic World Ski Championships.
Nishikawa, of Whitehorse, had another solid outing to finish 36th in the women’s 10-kilometre skate-ski race with a time of 26:02.0.
“I was really happy with this race, and I was able to hang on to a Finnish skier for the last five kilometres of the race,” said Nishikawa. “After a long break from the World Cup, I’m happy to be back and racing well. I think I am in a great place heading into World champs. There is room for improvement in a few areas, but I’m so excited for World Champs to start!”
Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla won the women’s skate-ski race with a time of 23:26.1. Norway’s Marit Bjoergen was second at 24:02.5, while Therese Johaug, also of Norway, snagged the bronze with a time of 24:19.7.
Ivan Babikov, of Canmore, Alta., was the top Canadian in the men’s 15-kilometre skate-ski race. Babikov clocked a time of 34:57.3 to finish 49th. Michael Somppi, of Thunder Bay, Ont., placed 69th at 36:04.4.
Norway’s Finn Haagen Krogh finished on top with a time of 32:46.0. Maurice Manificat, of France, was second at 32:59.5, while Sweden’s Marcus Hellner rounded out the podium in third at 33:04.9.