24 February 2019
Meenagh and Morris save best for last at World Para Nordic Skiing Championships
PyeongChang Paralympian Scott Meenagh achieved his best result of the 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships as he narrowly missed out on a top-five finish in Canada.
On the final day of action in Prince George, Meenagh finished in sixth place in the long-distance cross-country event as Germany’s Martin Fleig took gold in 47:53.8 minutes.
Meenagh crossed the finish line in 50:53.8, just over two minutes behind the winner, with Ukraine’s Taras Rad claiming silver and Belarusian Dzmitry Loban completing the podium.
Fellow GB teammates Steve Arnold and Callum Deboys were also in cross-country action, with the former finishing just outside the top ten in 11th while Deboys was 13th.
Arnold’s finish was his best result to date and he said afterwards: “It’s been an awesome two weeks and GB are starting to get noticed, bring on the summer training and we go again next winter.”
It was Meenagh’s sixth event of the championships and his third top ten in the cross country, with the 29-year-old coming eighth in the middle distance and tenth in the sprint.
He also competed in three biathlon events and achieved two more top ten finishes, coming eighth in both the middle distance and individual, as well as finishing 11th in the sprint.
Deboys, who was making his World Championship debut, also competed in the middle distance and sprint cross-country events, with the 22-year-old finishing in 14th and 15th respectively.
Former para-sailing world champion Steve Thomas was another first-timer in Canada and the 42-year-old claimed 16th place in the cross-country sprint behind Deboys.
Rachel Morris with her gold medal at Rio 2016
In the women’s events, three-time Paralympian Rachel Morris started her championships with a seventh-place finish in the middle-distance cross-country event.
Morris finished in a time of 21:33.4 as American Oksana Masters triumphed ahead of compatriot Kendall Gretsch in the battle for gold, with Norway’s Birgit Skarstein taking bronze.
The 39-year-old then improved her position by one place in the cross-country sprint, finishing sixth in 4:30.80 as double Paralympic champion Masters claimed another gold medal.
Masters this time finished ahead of Germany’s Andrea Eskau to top the podium, while her American teammate Gretsch added a bronze medal to her collection.
And just like Meenagh had done before her, Morris saved her best until last as she finished the ten-day championships with her best result of the week in the long-distance event.
Morris finished in fifth place in her final event in 55:24.2 as Masters completed a hat-trick of cross-country gold medals with another win, with Gretsch in second and Skarstein third.
A top-five finish completed an impressive week for Morris, who previously won Paralympic gold medals as a hand-cyclist and rower before making the switch to skiing.
Morris became the first woman to represent GB at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Canada and will take plenty of confidence from her performances.
16 February 2019
Morris aims to conquer snow after mastering land and sea
15 February 2019
Meenagh enjoying the company of new faces ahead of Para Nordic Worlds
11 December 2018
New era for GB Para Nordic skiing as World Cup season begins
17 March 2018
Just the beginning for Meenagh after completing Games debut
16 March 2018
PyeongChang 2018: Meenagh and Whitley bow out with impressive performances
16 March 2018
Meenagh delighted after strong biathlon showing
14 March 2018
Meenagh marginally misses semis in cross-country sprint
13 March 2018
13th placed Meenagh just scratching the surface
11 March 2018