Canada's Brian McKeever wins visually-impaired 20k

Brian McKeever has won Paralympic gold for an eighth time. (REUTERS)

Brian McKeever has won Paralympic gold for an eighth time. (REUTERS)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 4:06 PM ET

Cross-country skier Brian McKeever, of Canmore, Alta., claimed Canada's first gold medal at the Sochi Paralympic Games on Monday.

The 34-year-old won the men's visually-impaired 20-kilometre race in a time of 52 minutes and 37.1 seconds.

It was his eighth Paralympic gold medal.

"Today was a huge team effort having two guides out there sharing the work," said McKeever. "It was definitely needed because I couldn't have done that on my own.

"They set the perfect pace with the snow being what it was. It is much faster skiing from behind in conditions like this, and unfortunately for the guides, they are forced to work pretty damn hard."

Stanislav Chokhlaev of the Russian Federation finished more than a minute behind McKeever in second place, while Sweden's Zebastian Modin finished third, close to five minutes off the pace.

The victory brings McKeever's medal haul to 11 at the Paralympics, including eight gold. He could become the first Canadian with 10 gold medals if he wins his other races later this week.


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