Benjamin Daviet regains World Cup title

Frenchman celebrates as biathlon events conclude in Sapporo

male Para Nordic skier Benjamin Daviet skis towards the finish line Benjamin Daviet continued his unstoppable form to take the biathlon World Cup title in Sapporo © • Ken’ichiro Abe

Five-time world Para Nordic skiing champion Benjamin Daviet proved yet again his ability to deliver at major competitions as he regained the biathlon World Cup title in Sapporo, Japan, on Thursday.

‘The flying Frenchman’ achieved victory in the men’s sprint standing, adding to his win in the middle-distance the previous day, to finish top of the overall rankings with 910 points. Daviet last won the title in the 2016-17 season after finishing second in 2017-18.

He has also now extended his unbeaten streak to seven consecutive biathlon races.

Norwegian Nils-Erik Ulset (695 points) ended second in the final standings after capturing silver in the sprint. Ukraine’s Grygorii Vovchynskyi (572) was third in the overall rankings following a fourth place-finish in the last race behind Canadian Mark Arendz.

Second French victory not enough

PyeongChang 2018 cross-country champion Anthony Chalecon (568) won the men’s sprint vision impaired together with guide Simon Valverde. It was not enough to overtake Iaroslav Reshetynskyi (679) in the overall standing though, with the Ukrainian and guide Kostiantyn Yaremenko taking the World Cup crown ahead of the French pair.

Fellow Ukrainian Vitaliy Luk’yanenko (561) and guide Borys Babar finished third.

Ukrainian dominance

Reshetynskyi was not the only Ukrainian biathlete to be crowned World Cup champion as Taras Rad (men’s sitting) and Oleksandra Kononova (women’s standing) also sealed the title in their categories.

Three-time biathlon world champion Rad won the sprint race ahead of South Korea’s Paralympic champion Shin Eui Hyun and USA’s Daniel Cnossen.

In the final World Cup standings, Rad gained 830 points, with Cnossen (739) and German Martin Fleig (500) completing the top three.

Kononova was in dominant form as she stormed to gold in the sprint ahead of Canadian Emily Young and Ukrainian Bohdana Konashuk.

The four-time Paralympic gold medallist therefore ended as the overwhelming champion with 910 points. Compatriots Liudmyla Liashenko (695) and Konashuk (520) followed to make it an all-Ukrainian podium.

Gretsch beats Masters in PyeongChang repeat

As it happened one year ago at the Winter Paralympics, USA’s Kendall Gretsch defeated compatriot Oksana Masters in the women’s sprint sitting.

With this victory, Gretsch added 100 points to the overall rankings for a total of 940 to secure the first Biathlon World Cup title in her career. Five-time Prince George 2019 world champion Masters finished second with 760. German Andrea Eskau (520) was third.

Klug enjoys best season to date

Still fresh from sweeping all biathlon events at the 2019 World Championships, the German (960 points) and her guide Martin Hartl won their first World Cup title following a victory in the women’s sprint vision impaired.

Ukraine’s two-time Paralympic champion Oksana Shyshkova (840) and guide Vitaliy Kazakov were second in the race and the rankings.

Full rankings are available on World Para Nordic Skiing's website.

Cross-country events in Sapporo kick off on 15 March, with live results also available.