Winter Paralympics preview: Para Biathlon day one

The men’s and women’s sprint (6km) events will kick off the Para biathlon action at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games on Saturday (5 March) at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre.

Here is all you need to know about day one!

SITTING EVENTS

USA’s Kendall Gretsch won the gold medal ahead of her idol and teammate Oksana Masters at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. Masters had to settle for silver again in Lillehammer, Norway, at the World Para Snow Sports Championships in January this year.

Germany’s Anja Wicker took the first place in Lillehammer. It was her first world title in the sprint event. In her third Winter Games, Wicker will aim to be on the podium again and continue the fine form.

Only 14th in Lillehammer 2021, USA’s Daniel Cnossen will need a lot of determination to defend his Paralympic title in Beijing in the men’s sitting event.

Ukraine’s Vasyl Kravchuk, who is making his Paralympic Winter Games debut in Beijing, won silver at the Lillehammer 2021 Worlds and will be a serious medal contender.

A second Ukrainian athlete aiming for the podium place is Taras Rad who finished third in Norway in January. Being only 22, Rad will already make his second Games’ appearance.

STANDING EVENTS

In the women’s standing sprint event, Ukrainian athletes appear as favourites for the podium. In PyeongChang 2018, Ukraine’s Liudmyla Liashenko took the bronze medal.

She was accompanied by two compatriots at the podium in Lillehammer, where Liashenko won silver. Oleksandra Kononova finished first with Yuliya Batenkova-Baumen rounding up a perfect race for Ukraine in third place.

Fifth at Lillehammer 2021, France’s Benjamin Daviet will need to improve his game to Beijing in order to defend his Paralympic title won in PyeongChang.

Ukraine’s Grygorii Vovchynskyi, who will make his fourth Games appearance in China, won bronze at the Lillehammer 2021 and will aim for a podium finish once again.

VISION IMPAIRED EVENTS

Ukraine’s PyeongChang 2018 silver medallist Oksana Shyshkova will be the athlete to beat in Beijing.

Ukraine is the dominant force in the men’s visual impaired class as well. The last Paralympic champion is Ukraine’s Vitaly Lukyanenko, who will take place in his sixth Winter Games in Beijing and will try to win third back-to-back title in sprint.

His compatriot Oleksandr Kazik finished third at this years World Championships. He already has two Paralympic medals in Para biathlon, but none of them came in the 6km event.

Live results from Beijing 2022 will be available on Paralympic.org. You can follow all the action, behind the scenes and news on World Para Snow Sports social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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