Sat, 17 Apr 2021

BERLIN, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Jarl Magnus Riiber lived up to his status as favorite by defending his title in the men's normal hill Individual Gundersen competition at the FIS Nordic world ski championships in Oberstdorf, Germany on Friday.

The Norwegian outsprinted silver medalist Ilkka Herola from Finland by 0.4 seconds. Riiber's teammate Jens Luraas Oftebro took bronze, finishing 0.9 seconds after the winner.

In the ski jumping round, Japan's Ryota Yamamoto made a beautiful attempt of 106 meters and 143.1 points earning himself a 20-second lead on runner-up and teammate Akito Watabe, who jumped to 104 meters and scored 138.1 points. Title defender Riiber finished with 103 meters and 137.6 points, seeing himself 22 seconds behind going into the skiing part.

Yamamoto's advantage slipped away on the first lap. Four athletes were in the lead and a bigger group of pursuers was about 20 seconds behind.

The leading foursome's advantage continued to melt and the leaders were caught at the 6.6 km point.

Herola made his attack on the uphill on the last lap and only Riiber and Oftebro were able to match his attack.

Watabe and the German duo of Eric Frenzel and Fabian Riessle could not close the gap of a few crucial meters and had to fight for ranks four to six. Frenzel took fourth place, while Watabe ranked fifth and Riessle sixth.

The women's normal hill Individual Gundersen race is scheduled for Saturday.

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