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Canada’s Para nordic skiers claim mixed relay bronze at final day of Paralympics

Canada's Para nordic ski team won 14 medals in Beijing.

BEIJING – Canada’s mixed relay team won bronze Sunday morning (March 13) on the final day of competition at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre in China.

Consisting of Collin Cameron, Emily Young, Mark Arendz and Natalie Wilkie, the Canucks crossed the 4X2.5km relay at a time of 27.00.6.

The USA won gold and China claimed silver.

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Sit-skier Cameron started the first leg for Canada. The 33-year-old, who had already won two bronze medals at these Games, was in second place, around five seconds behind Ukraine’s Taras Rad at the first exchange.

Canada’s next three racers in the relay were all standing skiers, starting with 31-year-old Young.

Young was part of a four-pack of countries in Canada, Ukraine, China and the USA that broke away from the field during the second leg. China and Ukraine, however, opened up a near 35 second lead over Canada, sitting in third, at the second exchange.

Next up was Arendz, who’s already won three medals in Beijing, with a large gap to close if Canada wanted to compete for a medal.

RELATED: Mark Arendz: Bow Valley's Beijing Bound Athletes

The 11-time Paralympic medallist turned on the jets and cut the lead down to less than three seconds at the final exchange where Canada, China and Ukraine were head-to-head.

But it was the USA’s vision impaired skier Jake Adicoff, coming from out of nowhere, and exploding out of the final exchange to move from fourth to first place, erasing a 30 second deficient and adding a 26 second lead over China to win gold.

For bronze, Wilkie and Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova were neck-to-neck again less than 24 hours after the pair battled it out for gold in the middle distance race at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre.

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However, it was Wilkie, who had already won three medals in Beijing, pushing ahead of the Ukrainian in the short 2.5km leg to claim bronze for Canada.

For Young, it was her first medal of these Games.

In the open 4X2.5km relay, it was Canada's Brittany Hudak and Brian McKeever with guide Russell Kennedy finishing sixth place.

Canada won 14 medals in Para Nordic skiing (six gold, two silver, six bronze) in Beijing.