Oksana Masters wins first U.S. gold of Winter Paralympics; Ukraine gets 3 golds

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Oksana Masters began what could be a historic Winter Paralympics by winning the first U.S. gold medal of the Games. Ukraine earned the most golds on the first day of competition.

Masters, a biathlete and cross-country skier, won the women’s biathlon sitting sprint, her fifth career Paralympic gold medal and 11th overall medal between Summer and Winter Games. Fellow American Kendall Gretsch took bronze, four years after winning the sitting sprint.

“In Sochi 2014 I was a medal contender. I went the wrong way and was out of the medals,” Masters said. “In PyeongChang I didn’t get to race healthy [fractured elbow], and here, my third time around — it just feels absolutely incredible.”

PARALYMPICS: Broadcast Schedule | Viewer Guide | FAQs | Russia, Belarus Barred

Masters could race up to seven times over nine days of medal competition through March 13.

She moved into a tie for third on the U.S. women’s career Winter Paralympic medal list with her eighth. Alpine skiers Sarah Will and Sarah Billmeier share the record of 13, which Masters could pass at these Games.

Masters now owns Paralympic gold medals in biathlon, cross-country skiing and cycling. She won two cycling golds at the Tokyo Games six months ago. Gretsch won triathlon gold at the Tokyo Games.

Masters, 32, was born in Ukraine with a set of birth defects believed to be caused by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. She bounced between orphanages for seven years before being adopted by an American single mother.

“It’s the stars and stripes 🇺🇸 that keeps my Ukrainian heart beating,” was posted on Masters’ social media before the Games. “I’ve always been proud of where I come from. And I can’t wait to race for the two countries that make me whole.”

Ukraine won three of the other five biathlon events on day one, including a medals sweep of the men’s vision impaired sprint. Ukraine, a Paralympic power, won the most biathlon medals at the 2018 Paralympics.

“Medals mean nothing compared to the lives of relatives and people who have suffered already through war,” said Oksana Shyshkova, who won the women’s vision impaired sprint.

In hockey, Declan Farmer broke Joe Howard‘s career U.S. Paralympic points record with one goal and three assists in a 5-0 win over rival Canada, giving him 26 career points. It was a rematch of the 2018 Paralympic final, won on Farmer’s golden goal in overtime.

The Winter Paralympics feature 78 medal events across six sports — Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, snowboarding, hockey and curling — with more than 600 athletes expected to compete from around the world, including 67 Americans.

In 2018, the U.S. topped the Winter Paralympic standings in total medals (36) and gold medals (13) for the first time since 1992.

ON HER TURF: Masters shares happiness, heartache ahead of Paralympics

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Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record in winning the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:09 to lower the previous record time of 2:01:39 he set in the German capital in 2018.

Kipchoge, 37 and a two-time Olympic champion, earned his 15th win in 17 career marathons to bolster his claim as the greatest runner in history over 26.2 miles.

His pacing was not ideal. Kipchoge slowed over the second half, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history. Only Brigid Kosgei (2:14:14 in Chicago in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in London in 2003) have gone faster.

American record holder Keira D’Amato, who entered as the top seed, was sixth in 2:21:48.

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

The last eight instances the men’s marathon world record has been broken, it has come on the pancake-flat roads of Berlin. It began in 2003, when Kenyan Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05.

The world record was 2:02:57 — set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 — until Kipchoge broke it for the first time four years ago. The following year, Kipchoge became the first person to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours, doing so in a non-record-eligible showcase rather than a race.

Kipchoge’s focus going forward is trying to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles in Paris in 2024. He also wants to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. He’s checked off four of them, only missing Boston (run in April) and New York City (run every November).

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2022 Berlin Marathon Results

2022 Berlin Marathon
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2022 Berlin Marathon top-10 results and notable finishers from men’s and women’s elite and wheelchair races. Full searchable results are here. ..

Men
1. Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) — 2:01:09 WORLD RECORD
2. Mark Korir (KEN) — 2:05:58
3. Tadu Abate (ETH) — 2:06:28
4. Andamiak Belihu (ETH) — 2:06:40
5. Abel Kipchumba (ETH) — 2:06:40
6. Limenih Getachew (ETH) — 2:07:07
7. Kenya Sonota (JPN) — 2:07:14
8. Tatsuya Maruyama (JPN) — 2:07:50
9. Kento Kikutani (JPN) — 2:07:56
10. Zablon Chumba (KEN) — 2:08:01
DNF. Guye Adola (ETH)

Women
1. Tigist Assefa (ETH) — 2:15:37
2. Rosemary Wanjiru (KEN) — 2:18:00
3. Tigist Abayechew (ETH) — 2:18:03
4. Workenesh Edesa (ETH) — 2:18:51
5. Meseret Sisay Gola (ETH) — 2:20:58
6. Keira D’Amato (USA) — 2:21:48
7. Rika Kaseda (JPN) — 2:21:55
8. Ayuko Suzuki (JPN) — 2:22:02
9. Sayaka Sato (JPN) — 2:22:13
10. Vibian Chepkirui (KEN) — 2:22:21

Wheelchair Men
1. Marcel Hug (SUI) — 1:24:56
2. Daniel Romanchuk (USA) — 1:28:54
3. David Weir (GBR) — 1:29:02
4. Jetze Plat (NED) — 1:29:06
5. Sho Watanabe (JPN) — 1:32:44
6. Patrick Monahan (IRL) — 1:32:46
7. Jake Lappin (AUS) — 1:32:50
8. Kota Hokinoue (JPN) — 1:33:45
9. Rafael Botello Jimenez (ESP) — 1:36:49
10. Jordie Madera Jimenez (ESP) — 1:36:50

Wheelchair Women
1. Catherine Debrunner (SUI) — 1:36:47
2. Manuela Schar (SUI) — 1:36:50
3. Susannah Scaroni (USA) — 1:36:51
4. Merle Menje (GER) — 1:43:34
5. Aline dos Santos Rocha (BRA) — 1:43:35
6. Madison de Rozario (BRA) — 1:43:35
7. Patricia Eachus (SUI) — 1:44:15
8. Vanessa De Souza (BRA) — 1:48:37
9. Alexandra Helbling (SUI) — 1:51:47
10. Natalie Simanowski (GER) — 2:05:09

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