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Brian McKeever and Chris Klebl Fall Short of Relay Podium at Paralympic Winter Games

March 15, 2014

Klebl, McKeever along with guides Carleton and Nishikawa ski to fourth

SOCHI, Russia, March 15, 2014 /CNW/ – Brian McKeever and Chris Klebl
formed a one-two Canadian punch to finish fourth in open 4×2.5
kilometre relay on Saturday at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi.

The two Canmore, Alta. residents teamed up to ski two legs each in the
unique mixed relay format, which requires each team to have a minimum
of two (men or women) skiers and maximum of four. Athletes are given
percentages based on their disability classification. Competing in
their first-ever relay at the Paralympics, the Canadians posted a time
of 25:51.9.

“It is a unique format and unpredictable because you are skiing against
many people for the first time and in all classifications, but we gave
it a good shot today and should be happy,” said McKeever. “Chris was
strong and I also felt good, but we just ran out of a gas a bit at the
end and came up a bit short of the podium.”

Russia won the open relay with a time of 24:22.8. The Ukraine skied to
the silver at 25:17.9, while France held off the charging Canucks to
win the bronze medal with a time of 25:30.3.

Mother Nature continued to play games with the world’s best para-Nordic
skiers at the Laura Ski and Biathlon Centre. With snow temperatures
hovering around the freezing point, the rapidly changing weather from
sun to overcast got the best of the Canadians. The snow conditions
changed from the warm-up, and tricked Klebl in the first corner of his
opening leg, dumping the three-time Paralympian on his side.

“It was really tricky. When the sun is out it is like mashed potatoes
and then hardens up when the clouds roll in,” added McKeever. “Chris
had some tough luck, but he did a great job. It was fun for all of us
to give it a shot today.”

McKeever continued to leverage both guides here with him in Sochi. The
12-time Paralympic medallist skied the opening leg with Erik Carleton,
of Canmore, Alta., and the anchor leg with Graham Nishikawa, of
Whitehorse.

“The job isn’t over yet,” said Carleton. “We had a good day today, but
we have one more race tomorrow and we will now be sure to get ready for
it.”

McKeever and company will look to win their third gold medal of the week
on Sunday when they hit the start line for the final Nordic race of the
2014 Games.

For more information and complete results, please visit www.paralympic.ca.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Media are invited to visit photos.paralympic.ca and create an account
to be able to download high-resolution photos of Canadian Paralympic
athletes at any time, at no cost.

For full information about Team Canada at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic
Games, please visit www.paralympic.ca/team-canada.

SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)


Source: PR Newswire



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