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Watabe brothers assigned to Nordic combined individual hill competition

Kyodo

Nordic combined medal hopeful Akito Watabe, his brother Yoshito, Taihei Kato and Hideaki Nagai, will represent Japan in the individual normal hill competition on Wednesday, coach Shuhei Narita said Tuesday.

“I feel good,” Akito Watabe said at the last practice before the competition, where he logged 96.5 meter, 101.5 meter and 99 meter jumps. “As always, I’m aiming to win. I have an image of stretching out my leg at the finish line for a narrow victory.”

The individual normal hill event will be the first of three Nordic combined competitions here, followed by the individual large hill next Tuesday and the team large hill on Feb. 20.

“Nothing’s set in stone in these things,” said Yoshito Watabe. “You do what you can and hope to perform well.”

Yusuke Minato, whose jumping performance has been out of form, will not join the individual competition.

The 10 km cross-country ski portion of the competition will be held later in the day.