Russia Breaks Medal Record at Sochi Paralympics With Cross-Country Golds
Published: March 13, 2014 (Issue # 1801)
Russia beat its record Winter Paralympic medal haul at the Sochi Games on Wednesday while claiming 11 of 18 medals on offer in the cross-country skiing 1km sprints.
Meanwhile, Canada’s Brian McKeever won his ninth career Paralympic gold medal and Russian-born US athlete Tatyana McFadden, a star of the Summer Paralympics as a wheelchair racer, claimed her first medal in winter sport.
Related: Russia Sweeps Podium in Cross-Country Skiing
Following the sprints, host nation Russia has a total medal haul of 47, nine more than its previous Winter Paralympic best from Vancouver 2010. Sixteen of those are gold medals, ensuring Russia leads the medal table, with second-placed Germany on six golds.
Russia has dominated cross-country skiing throughout the Paralympics to date and that was typified in the men’s standing sprint, where the six men in the final were all Russians.
Kirill Mikhaylov raced to victory in 3 minutes 53.5 seconds, beating 20km gold medalist Rushan Minnegulov by just 0.3 seconds. "I'm happy because this is a load off my mind. It was a Russian final and yes, it is hard to compete against my friends," Mikhaylov said.
Related: Russia Stuns U.S. for 2-1 Victory in Sochi Sledge Hockey
Vladislav Lekomtsev, 19, finished third to win his third medal of the Games, following his victory in the 7.5km biathlon event and bronze in the 20km cross-country. Those three medals ensured Russia beat its Vancouver tally of 38 and its record of 13 gold medals from Turin 2006.
McKeever, 34, and his guide Graham Nishikawa dominated their rivals in the men’s visually impaired category, claiming McKeever’s ninth career gold and second of the Sochi Paralympics after victory in the men’s 20km race two days before.
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