ALBERTA

McKeever wins gold in 10-km visually impaired skate-ski race at IPC World Cup

12/09/2013 08:42 EST | Updated 02/08/2014 05:59 EST
CANMORE, Alta. - Brian McKeever won gold in the men's 10-kilometre visually impaired skate-ski race on Monday at the first-ever IPC World Cup at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

The 34-year-old McKeever, a native of Canmore, Alta., finished in 26 minutes 21.1 seconds on his hometown course.

"I thought I may have went out too hard so I eased up a bit in the middle, but tried to really hammer it home," said McKeever. "It felt pretty good today. The fitness is there. The course had some really nice features so I'm happy."

Home track advantage was key for McKeever as his guide, Erik Carleton, was ill and unable to race.

"The wind was pretty strong in some sections so it would have been nice to have Erik there to pull me around a bit," added McKeever. "Knowing the trail helped me a lot today, and Mark Arendz guided me around in the warm-up so it all worked out. This is a really solid field and everyone is focused on Sochi. I'm happy with how things went."

Russia's Stanislav Chokhlaev, and guide, Maksim Pirogov skied to the silver medal at 26:45.2. Mikolay Polukhin and Andrey Tokarev, also of Russia, teamed up for the bronze after punching the clock at 27:02.0.

Meanwhile, Arendz, of Springton, P.E.I., also suited up in the men's standing division. The 23-year-old biathlon specialist put down a solid effort in the cross-country ski discipline with a fifth-place finish at 27:47.9 against a deep field.

Russia's Sergey Lapkin won the men's standing division with a time of 27:10.7.

Earlier, Saskatoon's Colette Bourgonje, narrowly missed the podium in the women's five-kilometre sit-ski race. The Saskatoon resident placed fourth at 22:02.7. The women's sit-ski event was won by Norway's Mariann Marthinsen who finished in 20:54.3.

Chis Klebl, also from Canmore, finished fifth in the men's 10-kilometre sit-ski race after clocking-in at 31:50.5. The men's sit-ski category was won by Russia's Grigory Murygin with a time of 30:46.9.

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