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Oksana Masters Secures Biathlon Silver After Late Surge Falls Short

By Alex Abrams | Jan. 15, 2022, 1:50 p.m. (ET)

Oksana Masters competes in the women's sitting biathlon sprint race at the 2022 World Para Snow Sports Championships on Jan. 15, 2022 in Lillehammer, Norway.

 

Oksana Masters was still feeling jet lag Saturday, less than 48 hours after arriving in Lillehammer, Norway.

It affected her only slightly, though.

Masters used a strong push down the stretch to overcome some poor shooting and earn the silver medal in the women’s sitting biathlon sprint race at the World Para Snow Sports Championships.

She finished in 21 minutes, 52.8 seconds, only 1.6 seconds behind gold medalist Anja Wicker of Germany at 21:51.2.

It was the 17th career world championships medal for Masters, whose status for Lillehammer was uncertain after she tested positive for the coronavirus Dec. 31. 

She was forced to quarantine and miss the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing Sit Ski Nationals in Bozeman, Montana, this month. She arrived late to Lillehammer, missing the 5-kilometer cross-country race at the world championships.

“It wasn’t an ideal day for me,” Masters told U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing. “I’m feeling a lot of jet lag, but I’m just so happy to be here and be on the start line considering just hours ago it was still up in the air. I’m excited to recover and get some sleep and also continue to learn from this race and take it into the rest of the competition.”

Masters and Wicker each led at different times during the 6-kilometer race. Masters, however, struggled with her aim in the shooting portion and incurred several costly penalties as a result.

Masters wrote on Twitter that she missed three shots while “shaking off the cobwebs.” As a result, she trailed Wicker by more than 22 seconds after the second shooting section.

Masters cut into Wicker’s large lead on the final ski portion and made it close at the end to earn her fifth career world championships silver medal.

“This is a course that’s really flat, so there aren’t a lot of hills for me to make up time,” Masters said. “It was good to see where I am. There’s definitely a lot of work to be done with my shooting.”

Alex Abrams

Alex Abrams has written about Olympic and Paralympic sports for more than 15 years, including as a reporter for major newspapers in Florida, Arkansas and Oklahoma. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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