Beijing Olympics 2022
CHN | Mar 11, 2022

Ukraine reach perfect finish in Para Biathlon

/ Our Today

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Ukrainian Oksana Shyshkova in action.

Ukrainian biathletes ended their competition with another strong showing in the Individual races, grabbing half of the six golds on offer to top the sport’s medals table.

The country leaves Beijing 2022 with eight gold, nine silver and five bronze – their best ever performance at a Paralympic Winter Games.

Liudmyla Liashenko got the gold rush under way in the women’s standing to win her first individual Paralympic title. 

Liashenko dominated the race throughout, leading China’s Zhao Zhiqing and Canada’s Brittany Hudak home.

“It was a really long wait for me to get this gold medal. I’ve been to a lot of trainings and won a lot of gold medals in World Cups and World Championships over the past seasons. I was sure that my gold was waiting for me at these Paralympic Games and I am really happy and proud to be a Paralympic champion.”

GOLD, SILVER AND BRONZE

Oksana Shyshkova completed her Beijing 2022 campaign with a second gold in the women’s vision impaired with guide Andriy Marchenko.

Shyshkova kept Germans Linn Kazmaier, guided by Florian Baumann and Leonie Maria Walter and guide Pirmin Strecker at bay. This was Kazmaier’s second silver of the Games while Walter finished with a gold, silver and bronze.

“Every time we go to the start we understand that we [want to] protect the honour of our country. That is maybe what is motivating us to focus and do all the best that we can during the race. Maybe that is the secret,” said Shyshkova following her triumph.

The Ukrainian men also got in on the golden action on Friday. 

“We did a great job to come here and compete and represent our country and we couldn’t lose this race. Perhaps because of this support we got this result.”

Oleksandr Kazik

Oleksandr Kazik and guide Serhii Kucheriavyi claimed the men’s vision impaired title ahead of teammate Vitalii Lukianenko and guide Borys Babar. The bronze was taken by Shuang Yu of China, guided by Wang Guanyu.

“It is a really desired medal for us. We were preparing and training hard for a long time with my guide,” Kazik said. “It was a tough race and difficult weather conditions today with the hard snow. 

“The skis also didn’t work well as planned, but we tried to support each other. Me, together with my guide. We did a great job to come here and compete and represent our country and we couldn’t lose this race. Perhaps because of this support we got this result,” said an emotional Kazik.

Not content with winning his first Paralympic title earlier on in the competition, Frenchman Benjamin Daviet successfully grabbed himself another in the men’s standing.

Daviet, who had already won gold in the cross-country sprint, shot clean to lead Canada’s Mark Arendz and Ukraine’s Grygorii Vovchynskyi onto the podium.

“It’s the perfect race today, on the skis and in the shooting,” Daviet said. “I am very satisfied to hit 20 of 20 (shots). It was an easy race today. I am very proud and happy because I’ve put so much work on this over the past four years.” 

“The beginning of the Games was really difficult for me. Today there’s a new Benjamin and I’m very happy and proud. Now I want to maybe have other gold medals, in the cross-country.

“I feel very relaxed now. I am flying like a bird. I feel very confident and it is very easy for me now.”

France's Benjamin Daviet raises his arms in the air and celebrates
Benjamin Daviet has one gold each from Para Biathlon and Para Cross-Country.(Photo: OIS Photos/Chloe Knott)

Arendz celebrated his own record from Beijing 2022 with a full collection of gold, silver and bronze, as did Vovchynskyi.

The USA’s Oksana Masters can also call herself a double Beijing 2022 biathlon champion after racing to victory in the women’s sitting.

Compatriot Kendall Gretsch, who had claimed top honours in the same event at the World Championships in Lillehammer, Norway, was in control until the 10km mark but lost out to Masters 2.5km from the finish. China’s Yilin Shan was third.

“I knew it was going to be tough and I just wanted USA to be one-two and I can’t wait to celebrate this,” said a thrilled Masters.

In the men’s equivalent, China’s Liu Mengtao rounded off Friday’s list of athletes who doubled their gold medal collection.

DOMINANT SHOW

Ukraine’s Taras Rad added another silver whilst China’s Zixu Liu, who had won gold in the sprint, completed the podium.

After that dominant show Liu revealed that he was confident of taking the title. “Well, nothing special. I knew I’d win. It’s good to see the national flag and hear the national anthem. It’s too early to be happy right now because I still have a cross-country race coming tomorrow,” said the 20-year-old.

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