Japan’s Akito Watabe had seen this nightmare before. Germany’s Eric Frenzel edged him out for gold in Sochi and in the PyeongChang normal hill event a week ago.
On Tuesday, he was seeing triple.
In an entirely new level of torment, Watabe watched as the Germans swept the Nordic combined large hill/10 km event with Johannes Rydzek taking the gold, flanked by Fabian Reissle in silver and Eric Frenzel taking the bronze.
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HAKUBA, Japan (AP) — Norway’s Jan Schmid won his third Nordic combined World Cup event of the season on Sunday to maintain his position as one of the gold medal favorites at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
After placing seventh in the ski jumping stage, Schmid erased a 1 minute, 14-second deficit in the 10-kilometer cross-country race to finish 6.6 seconds ahead of Estonia’s Kristjan Ilves.
Schmid surged ahead of Ilves with less than one kilometer left to add to his previous World Cup wins in Italy and France last month.
“I managed on the last climb to catch him,” Schmid said. “In the race I tried to go full speed at the end and hope that nobody follows me and fortunately, It worked.”
Akito Watabe of Japan, who entered Sunday’s event with four straight wins on the World Cup circuit, was third, 11.1 seconds behind.
Watabe still leads the overall World Cup standings with 905 points, 20 ahead of Schmid. Norway’s Joergen Graabek, who did not compete in Hakuba, is third with 528 points.
HAKUBA, Japan (AP) — Akito Watabe of Japan won his fourth straight Nordic combined World Cup event on Saturday to enhance his position as a gold medal contender at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Watabe jumped 130.5 meters and finished the 10-kilometer race in 24 minutes, 14.6 seconds, 1:12.6 ahead of Norway’s Jan Schmid. Germany’s Manuel Faisst was third.
The 29-year-old Sochi silver medalist, who will represent Japan in his fourth straight Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, extended his season wins to five — the most he has won in a single season on the World Cup circuit.
Watabe became only the second athlete to sweep the three-day Seefeld Triple event in Austria last month. He has surged to the top of the World Cup standings with the results from Japan and Austria, adding to a win earlier this season in Finland.
Schmid caught Faisst on the last steep uphill and crossed the finish line 10 seconds ahead of the German skier to claim his third runner-up finish of the season.
Watabe has 845 points in the overall standings, 60 ahead of Schmid heading into Sunday’s final World Cup event before the Olympics.