Watabe took a surprise victory in Nordic Combined
Challenging conditions in the ski jumping round shifted the power balance for the skiing in Sunday’s Nordic Combined Individual race. The invincible Jarl Magnus Riiber was only 16th after the jumping round, and Japanese Akito Watabe started first on the track.
The track was more challenging than on Saturday and the heavy snowfall favored strong skiers. The chasing group wasn’t able to catch the leader though, and Watabe took his first victory of the season. Saturday’s Team Spring winner Jørgen Graabak was able to secure the second place, and Germany’s Vinzenz Geiger was third.
– It was really difficult day on the hill. The wind was strong. But I had a really good jump. Cross country part was really nervous because I’ve been struggling with skiing this season, Watabe says.
Watabe says he has had a hard season and he was happy to finally reach the podium.
– I didn’t believe in myself. I was waiting for the group to catch me but they didn’t come so fast. So I tried to push and I’m really happy to finally be on the podium, Watabe smiles.
Photo: Heidi Lehikoinen