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1ST LEAD Germany's Frenzel clinches rare Nordic combined repeat Olympic gold By John Bagratuni, dpa

Europe, Europa
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Pyeongchang, South Korea (dpa) - Germany‘s Eric Frenzel broke a four-man leader group on the last uphill to become the first Nordic combined skier in 38 years to win back-to-back Olympic gold in the normal hill event on Wednesday.

The five-time reigning World Cup champion was placed fifth after the jumping portion but soon caught up with the skiers ahead of him in the ensuing 10-kilometres cross-country pursuit en route to victory ahead of Japan‘s Akito Watabe and Lukas Klapfer of Austria.

Frenzel, 29,, is only the third man to win successive golds in the event, following Norway‘s Johan Groettumsbraten in 1932 and 1936, and East Germany‘s Frank Wehling 1972, 1976 and 1980.

It was the sixth gold in Pyeongchang for medal table leaders Germany as they delivered again when it mattered in the Nordic combined.

After totally dominating the past season including sweeping the four golds at the world championships Germany had a harder time in the new campaign, with World Cup leader Watabe and a strong Norwegian team upping their game.

Frenzel came to South Korea with just one season win but a ski-jump of 106.5m put him in a promising position in fifth place, just 36 seconds behind jumping leader Franz-Josef Rehrl of Austria who soared 112m.

Frenzel soon caught up with Watabe and Klapfer and the three joined Rehrl and Norway Jarl-Magnus Riiber up front after 3.5km. Rehrl then faded to eventually finish 13th while Frenzel and Watabe opened a gap on the other day.

And like four years ago in Sochi, Frenzel attacked Watabe on the last kilometre, winning in 24 minutes 51.4 seconds to raise his Olympic haul to 2-1-1.

Watabe had to settle for silver again, 4.8 seconds back, and Klapfer took bronze with a deficit of 18.1 seconds.

German four-time 2017 world champion Johannes Rydzek was fifth, up from 11th after the jump but unable to catch the leaders.

While wind played havoc with the competition in other areas, leading to the postponement of the women‘s slalom and women‘s 15km biathlon the Nordic combined skiers were largely unaffected by the strong winds, although their was a small delay in the jumping.


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(19.02.2018 09:03)

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