Canada’s Mark Arendz is back in a familiar place — atop the podium at the Para nordic world championships.
The Hartsville, P.E.I., native acquired gold in the 10-kilometre standing biathlon on Wednesday in Oestersund, Sweden, with a time of 27 minutes 56.2 seconds.
It’s the fourth gold medal at worlds of the 32-year-old Arendz’s career, and his 16th overall podium appearance. He is also the owner of 12 Paralympic medals.
Arendz was the lone competitor to shoot a perfect 20-for-20 on the range. He previously earned silver in the shorter sprint event.
“I was frustrated with my shooting performance from the sprint, so I had to refocus on what mattered today,” Arendz said. “The range was challenging today with changing lighting and variable wind. The key for me was to remain in control.”
A pair of Ukrainians rounded out the podium, with a single missed shot dropping Grygorii Vovchynskyi to silver at 28:29 while Serhii Romaniuk brought home bronze at 29:24.6.
Arendz credited a composed approach for his victory.
“I started skiing steady, and each lap I was able to increase my pace. I worked on being patient, and not rushing the skiing,” he stated.
Meanwhile, fellow Canadian Brittany Hudak bagged her third medal of the competition with bronze in the women’s standing 10-km event.
The 29-year-old from Prince Albert, Sask., also has two silver medals.
After two early misses, it didn’t appear that another podium appearance would be in the cards for Hudak. But the Canadian battled to complete her five loops in a time of 34:40.7.
“Today felt a bit tougher for me, but I’m happy that I was able to refocus after a less than ideal first bout of shooting,” Hudak stated.
“It was very windy at times on the course so that played with my mind a bit in the range, but I trust our staff and focused on what I can control. I felt like some of the pressure was off, and I actually relaxed more, which seemed to help.”
Ukraine’s Liudmyla Liashenko collected gold at 32:16.4, while fellow Ukrainian Bohdana Konashuk claimed silver at 33:34.8.
Derek Zaplotinsky, the third and final Canadian in competition Wednesday, placed fourth in the men’s 10-km sit-ski race.
The world championships continue Friday with the biathlon distance races.