Herola/Hirvonen celebrate home victory in Lahti

Ilkka Herola (FIN, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) and Eero Hirvonen (FIN) celebrated a home victory in the team sprint at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Lahti (FIN). Espen Bjørnstad (NOR, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) and Jørgen Graabak (NOR, Fischer skis and bindings) finished second ahead of Willi Denifl (AUT) and Mario Seidl (AUT, Fischer skis, bindings and boots).

With a relatively constant headwind, the ski jumping was held as part of the team sprint of the nordic combined. Willi Denifl and Mario Seidl, who returned after two weeks of illness, showed the most convincing performance and showed the longest jumps with 126 and 127 meters. This gave them a 19-second lead over team Watabe with Akito and Yoshito (both JPN, Fischer skis, bindings and boots), Go Yamamoto and Hideaki Nagai (both JPN, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) followed with just a few seconds behind. The two Norwegian duos were more than a minute behind after the jumping round.

In cross-country skiing, five laps of 1.5 kilometers each had to be completed for each skier and after the second exchange a trio was in lead. The Norwegians Bjørnstad/Graabak and Andersen/Krog tried to shorten the gap to the lead, and at the beginning of the penultimate lap, the connection was made along with the Finns Herola/Hirvonen, who went into cross-country skiing 1:24 minutes behind. The five teams entered the stadium for the last time: in front both Norwegians, who skied through the last corner next to each other and barred the way for the Finn behind them. On the home straight, the space was suddenly there, and Eero Hirvonen took advantage and sprinted to a home win. Behind him, Akito Watabe crashed wit Magnus Krog (NOR) during his overtaking attempt, leaving Espen Andersen (NOR, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) and Magnus Krog only in fourth. The Japanese were disqualified later. Espen Bjørnstad and Jørgen Graabak beat Willi Denifl and Mario Seidl in the battle for further podium spots.

=> HS130 / 2x7,5km Lahti (FIN)