Winter Paralympics: Nordic skier Scott Meenagh feeling inspired in Beijing heat

Meenagh, who shattered new ground by becoming the first Nordic skier to represent ParalympicsGB at a Games for 20 years at PyeongChang 2018, stopped the clock in a time of 33:11.7

Will Jennings
Beijing
Tuesday 08 March 2022 10:37 GMT
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Scott Meenagh after the Para biathlon 10km race
Scott Meenagh after the Para biathlon 10km race (Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Sctott Meenagh believes a boiling Beijing biathlon intensified his “inspiration” for success after keeping his cool in the sunshine to equal his best ever result.

The Scottish Nordic skier claimed his second consecutive top 10 finish in the gruelling 10km biathlon and still has two more races to come in the Chinese capital.

Meenagh, who shattered new ground by becoming the first Nordic skier to represent ParalympicsGB at a Games for 20 years at PyeongChang 2018, stopped the clock in a time of 33:11.7 as home favourite Liu Mengtao grabbed gold.

Meenagh has now racked up two ninths – his 10km result equalling his career Paralympic best – and a 12th in Beijing and reckons basking in the warm Chinese weather held the key to his success.

The 32-year-old said: “That was a really fun race today and I enjoyed every moment of it. The sun’s out and I really enjoyed it – I’ve been feeling pretty inspired for the last couple of races out here.

“There was a lot of misses out there which kept it very competitive, disappointed to have joined the group with all those misses, but that’s biathlon.

“I felt like I skied really well and kept myself in the race right up until the very last lap and I think for me that’s all I can ask for - just to be in the conversation.

“On the shooting mat you’re talking millimetres, it’s fractions, in either direction and it can have such a drastic impact on your performance outcome.

“On the same side I’m frustrated that I can’t just push that over the line, but also really inspired by the fact that if it comes together it can be something really exciting.”

Meenagh kicked off his Paralympic campaign with ninth in the speedy 6km biathlon sprint before finishing 12th in the punishing cross-country skiing event the next day.

He enjoyed a well-earned day off on Monday before clinching back-to-back biathlon top tens with a gutsy 10km display in Zhangjiakou.

Meenagh finished two and a half minutes behind Chinese star Liu, who also bagged bronze in the sprint event, as British teammate and fellow Scot Callum Deboys finished 18th.

Meenagh goes again in his final two events this weekend and added: “I’ve got two more opportunities of racing.

“It’s really exciting, we’ve been training for so long, we’ve come on an unthinkable journey to get here as a group, as a programme, as a team, I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved.

“To be there consistently in that top 10 and tugging on the sleeves of the best of the world is something I’m really proud of and I think testament to the programme, the coaches and everyone who’s helped us get here today.”

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