SOCHI, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Russia and Germany turned out to be early gold medal grabbers as they each claimed a title in the skiing competition at the 2014 Winter Paralympics here on Saturday.
Roman Petushkov from hosts Russia won the men's 7.5-kilometer sitting biathlon in 21 minutes and 3.7 seconds. He was followed by Ukraine's Maksym Yarovyi and Japan's Kozo Kubo, with times of 21:11.9 and 21:45.6.
In the women's 6-kilometer sitting biathlon event, Germany's Andrea Eskau won with a time of 19 minutes 12.4 seconds.
Russia's Svetlana Konovalova, who was ninth among 10 starters after the 2-kilometer mark, finished second in 19:31.1 while Ukraine's Olena Iurkovska came third with a time of 19:39.6.
An accident occurred on the alpine skiing slopes where Tyler Walker from the United States crashed during the men's sitting downhill and has been airlifted from the slopes.
The 27-year-old, competing in his third Paralympics, was seen cartwheeled several times after crashing.
Competition fanned out in Sochi's ice and snow competition centers on Saturday which is competition Day One.
On ice, South Korea, runners-up of wheelchair curling from Vancouver four years ago, suffered a stunning opening-round defeat of 10-0 in six ends to Norway.
Hosts Russia, who did not play in Vancouver, surprised China with a final-end score to win their first-rounder 5-4.
The Chinese, who have pulled off some bronze medal performances at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Championships, came from behind twice before losing it all in the eighth and final end.
In the ice sledge hockey group action, 2010 bronze medalists Norway were stretched into overtime and then game-winning-shots before they pulled away 2-1.
In total, 72 gold medals are on offer in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, wheelchair curling, ice sledge hockey and snowboarding in Sochi Winter Paralympics.