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SOCHI, March 10, /ITAR-TASS/. Seven sets of medals are to be contested at the Paralympic Games here on Monday. Contestants will chase medals in ski races and downhill skiing. The Russian team is to play regular wheelchair curling matches.
Competitions will be continued in ski races on Monday, with four sets of medals being contested. Men will be the first to compete in standing position in the 20 km ski race, classical style, at 10:00. On the Russian side, the ski races will involve Kirill Mikhailov, Vladimir Kononov, Rushan Minnegulov, and Vladislav Lekomtsev. The latter on Saturday became Paralympic winner in the 7.5 km biathlon event. Later in the day, skiers with impaired eyesight will participate in the same event, classical style. The Russian team will consist of Stanislav Chokhayev, Oleg Ponomaryov, Alexander Artyomov, and Vladimir Udaltsov.
A 15 km ski race, classical style, among skiers in standing position is to begin at 12:55. The host side in this event will include Alena Kaufman who won the 6 km biathlon race, and Anna Milenina, silver medallist in the same biathlon event. After the race, a 15 km Heat, classical style, will be held among sportsmen with impaired eyesight. Four persons will participate in the Heat, among them two Russian ladies: Mikhalina Lysova, Paralympic winner in the 6 km biathlon event, and Yelena Remizova, who was fourth in the same race.
Ski racing in standing position involves sportsmen with the affliction of lower limbs, both upper limbs (they are unable to use sticks), one upper limb with the use of only one ski pole, those with afflication of both upper and lower limbs. Sportsmen with impaired eyesight participate in ski races together with "seeing" guides, or "leaders", who ski straight in front of sportsmen and inform them of the peculiarities of the ski-course, such as bends, upgrades and downgrades.
Three sets of medals will be also contested Monday in downhill skiing. Supergiant competitions among ladies with impaired vision are to begin at 10:00. Alexandra Frantseva will be one of six ladies partiipating. She won Russian team's first medal at the current Paralympics. On Saturday she won bronze in downhill skiing. Ladies competing in standing position will begin to contest medals are as follows: Maria Papulova, as well as Inga Medvedeva, who already won silver in downhill skiing will participate on the Russian side. Russian ladies do not participate in supergiant competitions in sitting position..
Sportsmen in mountain skiing are divided into three categories: those skiing in standing position, sportsmen skiing in sitting position who use a monoski, and sportsmen with impaired vision who cover the event together with "leaders" who ski in front of them and tell them by radio about the peculiarities of the ski-course.
Various classes of mountain skiers may use various equipment: "sitting-position skis", ski poles, one or two, and outriggers (a combined version of ski and pole). A special system of scoring equalises sporstmen's chancess depending on their class and equipmen used.
Wheelchair curling matches of the fifth and sixth sessions of the Paralympic tournament will be played on Mondfay. At 09:30, a Russian team will compete against South Korea, and against Americans at 15:30. Wheelchair curling competitions involce people with lower body afflictions. Paralympic curling differs from the traditional one by the way sportsmen move about, as well as renunciation of sweeping.
Two four-member teams take part in the game. There is also one substitute for each side. A team must be represented by both genders, by one at least. Sportstmen may launch stone from an immobile wheelchair by hand or by means of a special extender with a plastic tip.