Norway's nordic combined team celebrate superior victory

Espen Bjørnstad (NOR, Fischer ***), Jens Lurås Oftebro (NOR, Fischer ***), Jørgen Graabak (NOR, Fischer ***) and Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR, Fischer ***) were in the team competition in Oberstdorf (GER) in a class of their own a year before the World Championships. Second place went to Fabian Rießle (GER), Johannes Rydzek (GER, Fischer ***), Manuel Faißt (GER) and Vinzenz Geiger (GER Fischer ***) ahead of the Japanese Akito Watabe (JPN, Fischer ***), Ryota Yamamoto (JPN, Fischer ***), Hideaki Nagai (JPN, Fischer ***) and Yoshito Watabe (JPN, Fischer ***).

The Norwegians jumped far away from everyone in the competition on Große Schattenbergschanze. They went into the cross-country race with an incredible lead of 1:27 minutes over Austria, 1:33 minutes ahead of Japan and 1:46 minutes ahead of Germany and could take it easy. Behind it developed a three-way fight after the first five kilometers, from which the German quartet quickly emerged as an absolute favorite. As expected, Japan lost the contact at the end of the first 2.5 km lap after their strongest skier Akito Watabe had completed the first five kilometers. The decline of performance of Austria's Bernhard Gruber (AUT, Fischer ***) came surprisingly early. The veteran was unable to follow Johannes Rydzek immediately after the start, and he struggled over his total five kilometers. In the end, he had lost two minutes and his legs were completely dead. After sending his teammate into the race, he collapsed in the transition area and was treated by team doctors from several nations. The Norwegians crossed the finish line with a safe lead and the German athletes also took an undefeated second place. Japan was happy with third place, in the end 40 seconds ahead of the Austrians Lukas Greiderer (AUT), Bernhard Gruber, F-J Rehrl (AUT) and Martin Fritz (AUT, Fischer ***). All other teams started out of the wave and were already far behind after the ski jump.

=> HS137/4x5km Oberstdorf (GER)