VAL DI FIEMME, ITALY – Japan took the lead after the first half of the Nordic combined team event at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships on Sunday.
The team of Akito and Yoshito Watabe, Yusuke Minato and Taihei Kato surged into the lead in the jumping portion on the K-95 normal hill to go atop the standings with 467.5 points.
Japan will start 22 seconds ahead of France in the 20-km cross country. Austria is another three seconds back in third.
It is the first time Japan will bid for a podium spot since winning the team event at the 2009 worlds.
In the men’s 9-km cross-country free team sprint, Hiroyuki Miyazawa and Yuichi Onda crashed out in the preliminary round.