Canada’s Para Nordic team wins 4 more medals at World Cup finals in Utah

Canada’s Para Nordic team combined to win four more medals Thursday at the World Cup Finals in Midway, Utah, bringing its total to nine through two competition days.

Chair skier Collin Cameron, who won the men’s sprint gold on Wednesday, continued his remarkable season with silver in the men’s five-kilometer event.

The 34-year-old from Bracebridge, Ont., clocked 14:23.8 to claim his second straight podium at the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center.

“I am very happy with today’s match. A 5km is really hard. It’s so easy to start really hard and cook for yourself,” Cameron said. “It’s nice to still end up on the podium. The weather was better today, which created perfect conditions.”

Italy’s Giuseppe Romele won gold in 13:46.9, while Ukraine’s Taras Rad took home bronze (14:23.8).

Pemberton, BC, native Ethan Hess finished 11th (16:01.5).

Canada’s Mark Arends, who recently lit the cauldron to open the 2023 Canada Winter Games in his native PEI, won silver in the men’s 5km skate-ski race with a time of 12:11.2.

The 32-year-old from Hartsville finished behind Japan’s Taiki Kawayoke (12:07.2), while France’s Benjamin Daviet took bronze, finishing 0.1 seconds behind Arendz.

“I was very happy with my performance. I knew my participation today was going to be bad. After spending time at sea level, traveling at altitude was not going to make the race easy,” Arendz said.

“I focused on pushing and controlling my fight in the first round and then going into the second round. It was an exciting, tight fight from start to finish.”

In the women’s 5km sitting ski event, Christina Picton won her second bronze medal for Canada in as many days.

The 29-year-old finished in 18:34.5, two spots ahead of Canada’s Lyne-Marie Bilodeau of Magog, Que. (19:58.3).

“The conditions were a lot better, so the racing was a lot better, but not easier,” Picton said. “This course is difficult, with heavy climbs from the start.

“It was just about energy management and efficient skiing. I’m happy that my race led to another podium, but there’s still a lot of work to do. I’m grateful for the fast boards again and all the support from our team.”

Picton, a former Para hockey player from Fonthill, Ont., finished behind Germany’s Anja Wicker (16:44.3), with American Kendall Gretsch topping the podium for the second straight day in 16:38.5.

Salmon Arm, BC, native Natalie Wilkie also picked up her second consecutive bronze medal, reaching the podium in the women’s 5km event with a time of 13:15.3.

Brittany Hudak of Prince Albert, Sask., a silver medalist on Wednesday, just missed the podium in fourth (13:55.1).

Norway’s Vilde Nielsen won gold in 12:59.7, while Ukraine’s Liudmyla Liashenko rounded out the podium (13:09.4).

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