Oksana Masters wins biathlon gold to open 2022 Winter Paralympics

Oksana Masters reacts after winning biathlon gold at the 2022 Winter Olympics
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Team USA’s Oksana Masters opened up the 2022 Winter Paralympics by winning gold in biathlon’s women’s sprint (sitting classification). She shot 10/10 on the range and crossed the finish line in 20:51.2.

“I’m speechless,” Masters told NBC reporter Lewis Johnson. “I can’t believe what just happened. I can’t believe I cleaned!” (Video of Masters’ interview is embedded below.)

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China’s Shan Yilin claimed silver (15.1 seconds back), while American Kendall Gretsch earned bronze (1:01.7 behind).

“Today’s race was really tough for me,” Gretsch said. “The wind makes the skiing that much harder, it makes the shooting hard, but it’s exciting because everyone’s here and competitive. That’s what you want as a racer.”

Masters and Gretsch have now won 11 and four medals, respectively, while Shan is a first-time Paralympic medalist in her Games debut.

Masters and Gretsch are competing in Beijing just six months after winning gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympics (Masters in cycling, Gretsch in triathlon). Both women are expected to compete in all six individual Nordic skiing events (three in cross-country, three in biathlon) at the 2022 Winter Paralympics.

Video of Oksana Masters and Kendall Gretsch winning gold and bronze in the women’s biathlon sprint (sitting) at the 2022 Winter Paralympics:

Video of Oksana Masters and Kendall Gretsch receiving their medals at the 2022 Winter Paralympics:

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: Ukrainian-born U.S. Paralympian Oksana Masters shares happiness, heartache ahead of Beijing Games

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC