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Akito Watabe celebrates first win of the season

Akito Watabe (JPN, Fischer ***) surprisingly celebrated his first win of the season in Lahti. After his victory in the jumping round he won the competition in front of Jørgen Graabak (NOR, Fischer ***) and Vinzenz Geiger (GER, Fischer ***).

As announced, the weather caused problems on Sunday: snowfall and gusty wind diagonally from the front, which also kept turning, was the cause of long interruptions. As the breaks from athlete 21 became longer and longer because the wind was stronger and outside the set corridor, the athletes in the warm-up room became more and more relaxed because it seemed that today it would no longer be possible to jump - athletes like Akito Watabe indicated with gestures that it would be better to stop and Ilkka Herola's grin widened: The Finn had finished third in the PCR on Friday - a perfect starting position in front of a home crowd. After about 20 minutes, in which only two jumpers were able to get off the hill and the athletes had to slip off the bar again and again, it suddenly went on quickly and the jumping round counted: Akito Watabe did significantly better than in the PCR, Ilkka Herola landed less promising far behind. This time Jarl Magnus Riiber did not cheer after his jump: he had to correct in the air and ended up in 16th place with 1:40 minutes just behind Herola.

In cross-country skiing, Watabe and Jens Lurås Oftebro (NOR, Fischer ***) formed the leading duo, with the next athletes 45 seconds behind. It was only in the second half of the race that the pace at the rear was significantly increased and the duo's lead melted more and more. Shortly before the finish, the young Norwegian wasn't able to follow and the pursuers caught up with him. Akito Watabe just saved his victory ahead of the others in a season in which he is lagging behind his former results due to a training change. Jørgen Graabak took second place, third place went to Vinzenz Geiger. Oftebro finished fourth, Eric Frenzel (GER, Fischer ***) was ranked sixth. Martin Fritz (AUT, Fischer ***) could not keep up with the pace at the end and finished seventh ahead of Ilkka Herola, who delighted the Finnish audience with eighth place. Jarl Magnus Riiber finished tenth, half a minute behind the Finn.

=> HS130/10km Lahti (FIN)

* = Fischer skis

** = Fischer skis and bindings

*** = Fischer skis, bindings and boots