Frenzel wins Olympic gold in Nordic combined 

click to enlarge MATTHIAS SCHRADER/AP
  • Matthias Schrader/ap
Eric Frenzel of Germany led after ski jumping and then powered home on the cross-country course to win the gold medal in the Nordic combined individual normal hill at the Sochi Olympics.

Frenzel, last year’s World Cup champion and this year’s runaway leader, started the 10-kilometer cross-country race with a six-second advantage over Akito Watabe of Japan. Watabe took silver in 23:54.4 and Magnus Krog of Norway earned bronze in 23:58.3.

Alessandro Pittin of Italy just missed out on repeating for the bronze medal, finishing 1.2 seconds behind Krog to take fourth.

Jason Lamy Chappuis of France, the defending gold medalist on the normal hill at Vancouver, finished 35th, 2 minutes, 37 seconds behind Frenzel.

It was Germany’s fifth gold of the Sochi Games and Frenzel now has a gold medal to go with the bronze he won with the Germany team on the large hill at Vancouver in 2010.

Using the Gundersen method, the skiers went off in staggered starts based on their performance in the ski jumping portion, all of them chasing Frenzel. Watabe started six seconds behind and 18 athletes had less than a minute handicap.

The 25-year-old Frenzel, who has served in the German army, has been the most consistent Nordic combined athlete in the last two years. He leads this season’s championship by 352 points after winning seven of the 11 events he has entered.

Two hours earlier, jumping last of 46 entries, Frenzel soared 103 meters and scored 131.5 points to overcome the 100.5 meters and 130.0 points posted by Watabe immediately before him. That ensured the German was first off in the cross-country event on the 2.5-kilometer course adjacent to the ski jump.

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