|McKeever, Whyte Medal at World Disabled Championships|
Two-time Paralympic gold medallist Brian McKeever and fellow teammate and two-time Paralympian Shauna Maria Whyte both won medals at the opening race at the World Disabled Ski Championships held
in Baiersbronn, Germany this morning.
Twenty-three year old McKeever and guide, brother Robin, blew the competition away in the 12.5 km biathlon long distance for visually impaired athletes to capture the gold by over two and a half minutes. McKeever’s time of 43:12.1 includes the penalty from one missed shot in the shooting range. Ukrainian Vitaliy Lukyanenko and his guide Volodymyr Ivanov took the silver in 50:34.2. The bronze medal went to two-time Paralympic medallist Russia’s Irek Mannanov and his guide Salavat Gournerov in 50:34.2. There were 13 athletes competing in McKeever’s category.
Having just got over a stomach virus, McKeever is more than pleased with today’s results. “He started off a bit comfortably this morning, “ says older brother and guide Robin. “Brian made up lots of time at the end of the race, and then it basically came down to the shooting.”
In the women’s biathlon long distance 10 km sit-ski event, Hinton-native Shauna Maria Whyte took the silver medal in a final time of 51:05.9. She was followed by Russia’s Irina Poliakova in 53:14.9 and Ukraine’s Lyukmyla Pavlenko in 57:24.1. Today’s winner was nineteen-year old Pavlenko’s teammate Olena Yarkovska, who posted a final time of 49:24.5. Whyte, who came in fourth at the Salt Lake City
Paralympics in the Biathlon event, uncharacteristically missed a single shot this morning.
“It was a really good day today,” says Whyte. “I am happy with both my skiing and shooting, and am looking forward to tomorrow’s event.”
The World Disabled Championships continues Sunday with the cross-country ski short distance. Fellow Canadian teammates Jean-Thomas Boily of Orford, Quebec, and Colette Bourgonje of Saskatoon will join McKeever and Whyte in this event.
For complete race results: www.ski-wm2003.de
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