PYEONGCHANG, Kor.—Mark Arendz is serving notice he will be a force to reckon with on the international para-nordic circuit this year, winning the silver medal in a biathlon sprint race on Sunday.
Arendz, of Hartsville, P.E.I., hopped onto the silver medal step of the podium for the second straight race – this time in the men’s 7.5-kilometre standing biathlon race after clocking a time of 18:52.8.
“For my first biathlon race in a para field this year, I’m very pleased with how things went,” said Arendz, who won the silver in a cross country sprint race earlier in the week. “I skied well, but a miss in my first bout meant I was chasing, and couldn’t quite get back into the lead after that.”
The 25-year-old credited the opportunity to compete in several early season able-bodied races using an air rifle for his success.
“It has helped a lot to have had that experience which is a change from previous years,” said Arendz, who added athletes completed three laps on the 2.5 kilometre loop. “Having that experience has made the transition from able bodied to para races seamless, which made a big difference today.
“We skied a flatter version of the course that will be used in 2018, but today’s course made you work for every second you wanted to gain on the field.”
Russia’s Aleksandr Pronkov also missed one shot in his first round on the range, but held off a hard-charging Arendz for the gold. Pronkov set the time to beat at 18:32.4. Russia’s Ivan Kodlozerov shot clean to win the bronze medal with a time of 19:03.2.
The IPC Asian Cup wraps up in Pyeongchang on Monday with the middle distance biathlon ski races.