Monday, 18 February, 2019

U.S. takes dominant lead on medal table of Paralympics

13 Mar 2018, 01:20 ( 11 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Mike Schultz from the United States competes during the Men's Snowboard Cross Big Final SB-LL1 of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games at Jeongseon Alpine Centre, South Korea, March 12, 2018. Mike Schultz claimed the title of the event. Photo Xinhua by Wang Jingqiang.

Three days into the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games, the United States has taken a dominant lead on the medals table, adding two more golds from the snowboard cross event on Monday.

The U.S. team has 15 medals in total, including six gold, five silver and four bronze medals. France and Ukraine follow shortly behind.

The two European countries are closely trailed by the Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA), Canada and Slovakia, all with three gold medals apiece. Germany and Switzerland have taken two golds respectively.

The NPA refers to Russian para-athletes in PyeongChang as Russians were banned from competing under their national flag for the alleged state-sponsored doping scandal. During the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February, Russian athletes were allowed to compete under the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) banner.

In the women's SB-LL1 snowboard cross, two U.S. snowboarders made it a one-two finish. The bronze went to France.  The Netherlands sealed a one-two finish in the women's SB-LL2 snowboard cross final, securing the country's first gold of the Paralympics. Spain took bronze in the event.

Three more golds came from the men's snowboard cross finals, in which Australia and Finland won their first gold medals in the 2018 Winter Paralympics. U.S. snowboarder Mike Schultz won the men's SB-LL1, with his teammate Noah Elliott taking bronze.

Four gold medals in cross-country skiing all went to a different country. The most outstanding was Canadian veteran Brian McKeever who won his 11th Paralympic gold medal in the men's 20km vision impaired cross-country skiing event.

McKeever became the most successful male cross-country skier in Paralympic Games history. "It's confirmation that we're still competitive even at [a] ripe old age now. It's not just about chasing another victory, but it's actually seeing if we can work on weaknesses and improve," McKeever said.

In the men's 20km standing cross-country skiing event, Ihor Reptyukh of Ukraine won his first Paralympic title by over two minutes, adding to the silver he took in the biathlon sprint on Saturday. Belarus secured its first gold medal of the Games in the women's 15km vision impaired race.

Hosts South Korea made the home crowd happy by defeating Canada 7-5 in the wheelchair curling match. China beat Finland 6-4.

In ice sledge hockey, the United States sealed its second successive 10-0 victory, this time over the Czech Republic. The defending Paralympic champion secured qualification for the Winter Paralympic semi-finals for a fifth straight time.