Defiant Ukrainian athletes top Paralympics table on first day in Beijing with THREE gold medals
- Ukranian athletes topped the tables with three golds at the Winter Paralympics
- Biathlete Grygorii Vovchynskyi claimed the first gold followed by Oksana Shyshkov, who won the women’s sprint, as did Vitaliy Lukianenko in men’s event
- It comes as Ukraine reels in shock in the week after Russia invaded the country
Ukrainian athletes put on a defiant display during the first day of the Winter Paralympics in Beijing, topping the medal tables with three golds.
As the world willed them on, the country’s athletes got off to a blistering start, later dedicating their seven-medal total to those suffering back home.
Biathlete Grygorii Vovchynskyi claimed Ukraine’s first gold as he triumphed in the men’s sprint standing event.
Biathlete Grygorii Vovchynskyi claimed Ukraine’s first gold as he triumphed in the men’s sprint standing event
Oksana Shyshkova won the women’s sprint vision impaired, before Vitaliy Lukianenko led a Ukrainian one-two-three in the men’s event.
Mr Lukianenko is from Kharkiv, a city reeling under daily bombardment, and has not spoken to his wife and daughter back home since arriving at the Games – not even to tell them of his victory.
The Ukrainian delegation of 20 athletes and nine guides spent four days travelling to China via Poland, Slovakia, Austria and Italy, with many escaping as shells bombarded their home towns.
Mr Vovchynskyi said: ‘I’m trying to do my best to represent my country and make the whole world hear the name of Ukraine every day.
‘I am worried and afraid. I dedicate this race to Ukraine and peace.’