Canadian Mark Arendz wins fourth Para Nordic world title of his career

Canadian Mark Arendz wins fourth Para Nordic world title of his career

Canada’s Mark Arendz is back in a familiar place: atop the podium at the Para Nordic World Championships.

The Hartsville, PEI native won gold in the 10k standing biathlon on Wednesday in Oestersund, Sweden, with a time of 27 minutes 56.2 seconds.

It is the fourth world championship gold medal of the 32-year-old Arendz’s career and her 16th overall podium appearance. He is also the owner of 12 Paralympic medals.

Arendz was the only competitor to shoot a perfect 20 of 20 on the range. He previously won silver in the shorter sprint event.

“I was frustrated with my sprint shooting performance so I had to refocus on what mattered today,” Arendz said. “The course was challenging today with changing lighting and variable wind. The key for me was staying in control.”

A pair of Ukrainians rounded out the podium, with a single miss dropping Grygorii Vovchynskyi to silver at 28:29, while Serhii Romaniuk took home bronze at 29:24.6.

Arendz attributed her victory to a cool approach.

“I started skiing steadily, and every lap I was able to increase my pace. I worked on being patient and not rushing the ski,” he said.

Hudak launches into bronze

Meanwhile, fellow Canadian Brittany Hudak took her third medal of the competition with bronze in the women’s standing 10km event.

The 29-year-old from Prince Albert, Sask., also has two silver medals.

After two early misses, it didn’t look like another podium appearance was in the cards for Hudak. But the Canadian battled to complete her five laps in a time of 34:40.7.

“Today felt a little tougher for me, but I’m happy I was able to get my focus back after a less-than-ideal first set of shooting,” Hudak said.

“Sometimes it was very windy on the pitch, so that played with my mind a bit on the range, but I trust our staff and I just focused on what I can control. I felt some of the pressure was off and actually, I relaxed more, which seemed to help.”

Ukrainian Liudmyla Liashenko won gold in 32:16.4, while fellow Ukrainian Bohdana Konashuk took silver in 33:34.8.

Derek Zaplotinsky, the third and final Canadian to compete on Wednesday, placed fourth in the men’s 10km sit ski race.

The world championships continue on Friday with the biathlon distance races.

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