Solid displays from Meenagh, Arnold and Ahrens at Para Nordic Combined World Cup
Consistency was the key for the Brits as Scott Meenagh, Steve Arnold and Terry Ahrens all turned out solid displays in the Para Nordic Combined World Cup in Oberried, Germany.
The trio were flying the British flag in second of three World Cup events this season, with all three performing steadily across nine days of cross-country and biathlon competition.
The action began with three days of cross-country events - Meenagh clocking 17th in the middle distance sitting on January 20, with Arnold seven places further back in 24th.
The following day, Meenagh and Arnold went all out and secured their most impressive respective scores of the cross-country, finishing 14th and 18th in the long-distance, while Ahrens finished 17th in the long-distance freestyle standing.
The action culminated in a dramatic sprint competition two days later, which saw Meenagh and Arnold cross the line in 20th and 29th. Ahrens did not start the sprint in the standing.
Meenagh finished 14th, 18th and 13 in the sitting sprint, long distance and middles distance in the biathlon.
And for the 28-year-old, the competition was a steep learning curve going forward, competing against the best in the world, but also a hugely enjoyable experience in front of the vocal Germany support.
“It was a really good World Cup and a chance to build towards the Paralympics,” he said.
“It was also a great chance to focus on honing my processes and learning from mistakes. I entered and raced every event which allowed me to really focus on my recovery and expose myself to multiple races in a short period of time.
“Oberried is an incredible venue with a large and very friendly local support. I really enjoyed racing here.
“The athletes on the start line were the best in the world. It was great to race against such a strong field of athletes this close to a Games.
“We go on to Finland now for the third and final World Cup of the season with a few lessons learned and new goals set.
“I’m really looking forward to getting into some more racing!”
Arnold managing 22nd, 20th and 17th in the biathlon sitting, while Ahrens came in at 21st, 18th and 18th in the respective standing events.
And while Arnold admitted some of his results were not the standard he wished, he took plenty of positives going into the final World Cup of the season in Finland.
“It’s been a mixed bag of results for myself although I feel I skied technically well I just didn’t have the pace over the cross-country courses, so am a little disappointed with my finishing positions,” he said.
“With the biathlon races I shot well in the sprint and long distance but again lost time skiing the course.
“The middle-distance race is one to forget about, I got off to a bad start in the shooting then snapped a pole so lost lots of time, but on the plus side I know when I get the biathlon races right I will be in the mix and pushing for a top-15 finish.
“I’m becoming a technically better skier in every race I do, the confidence is growing and I not fazed by any climb, corner or descent anymore.
“I’m also selecting the correct lines to get around the courses as fast as possible.
“My goals in Finland are to get my best finish in the biathlon races and also make the semi-final in the sprint cross-country.”