After a third place finish in the biathlon sprint on Wednesday (10 Decmeber), Finland's Maija Jarvela claimed the host country's first victory at the Vuokatti IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup on Thursday (11 December), winning the women's individual standing biathlon over 12.5km.
The 30-year-old (42:34.7) shot a clean sheet and finished ahead of Russia's Paralympic silver medallist in the event Alena Kaufman (43:37.1), who also hit all her targets. Ukraine's Iryna Bui came in third (44:10.6) with two missed shots resulting in two minutes penalty.
"I am really satisfied with the result but not with my skiing. My legs just didn't get it going and I couldn't really push myself to the limits. On the last lap it started to feel like racing," said Jarvela after the race.
"The wind was difficult at times but I managed to shoot clean. I was really enjoying shooting today as I like the windy conditions. In the long distance race I also like the fact that shooting has a great importance, it is best to never give up as the shooting can make the difference," Jarvela added.
In the men's standing race, Norway's Nils-Erik Ulset (38:08.8) finished in first place with a clean sheet at the shooting range. Even though he was not satisfied with his skiing, Ulset managed to keep Canada's Mark Arendz (39:12.9), who also did not missed a shot, behind him in second.
"My skiing today was not the best, the conditions were kind a difficult for me so I had to focus on shooting. My shooting lately has been really good so I had a good control even though it was windy.
Overall it was a really good race for me. I feel I am in a good shape now," said Ulset.
Russia's Kirill Mikhaylov (40:29.7) finished third with one missed shot.
Mikhaylov's teammates claimed some more podium finishes for Russia.
Marta Zaynullina (40:52.7) won the women's 12.5km sitting despite a one minute penalty for a missed shot. Her teammate Nadezhda Fedorova (45:51.0) came in second, ahead of Germany's Paralympic champion Anja Wicker (45.57.7).
Grigory Murygin (44:08.3) was responsible for Russia's second win of the day, beating compatriot Alexey Bychenko (44:33.5) in the men's 15km sitting. Norway's Trygve Steinar Larsen (46:31.2) finished third. Ukraine's skiers dominated the visually impaired category.
After a third place finish on Wednesday, Oksana Shyshkova (41:30.0) and her guide Lada Nesterenko took the victory in the women's 12.5km. Russia's Iuliia Budaleeva (41:52.1), winner of the biathlon sprint on Wednesday, and Elena Remizova (43:17.8) had to settle for second and third place respectively.
In the closest race of the day, Ukraine's Iaroslav Reshetynskiy and his guide Artur Gergard beat teammates Anatolii Kovalevskyi and guide Oleksandr Mukshyn in the men's 15km visually impaired by just 0.8 seconds. Russia's Stanislav Chokhlaev (40:31.1) and his guide Evgenii Fatkhullin came in third.
More than 100 athletes from 12 countries are in Vuokatti for the first World Cup event of the 2014-2015 season. Competition will continue on Friday with the cross-country middle distance races and all races will give a good indicator of form ahead of the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships which will take place in Cable, USA, between 23 January and 1 February.
All the results from Thursday's races can be found here.