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Beijing 2022: Ukraine win three gold on Day One

Grygorii Vovchynskyi
Grygorii Vovchynskyi Image credit: newsfeedzone.com

All eyes – and hearts – are on Ukraine at this year’s Winter Paralympics after the athletes arrived in Beijing ahead of the games earlier this week amidst Russia’s invasion.

The team claimed victory on day one of the event winning three golds.

Biathlete Grygorii Vovchynskyi (pictured above) won the first medal in the men’s sprint standing.

Oksana Shyshkova claimed gold in the women’s sprint vision impaired and Vitaliy Lukianenko was the first to cross the finish line in the men’s event.

In total Ukraine won seven medals on day one of the games.

Vovchynskyi made an emotional tribute to his home country after the race.

"It was difficult for me when the war began. I cried every day," he said.

"I didn't understand what happened.

"What can I do? I can dedicate this race to Ukraine, for peace [for the] people in Ukraine.

"Please stop war, it's very important for our children."

Vovchynskyi beat Germany’s Marco Maier by 45.8 seconds to claim a gold.

He said: "I was thinking before the race, I must try to do everything for Ukraine. I must think about war, about my country, about my people, about my president. I love Ukraine.

"I love sport, but today I ran because I want life in Ukraine to move to the future."

Grygorii Vovchynskyi is classified LW8 (single arm amputation).