• Kyodo

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Kenji Ogiwara, who dominated the Nordic combined event throughout much of the 1990s, no longer appears to present a real threat.

His performance Sunday proved that. Ogiwara, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the team event and three-time World Cup rankings champion, failed in his bid to finish in the top eight in his fourth straight Olympics, placing 11th as the 15-km cross-country race wound down at Soldier Hollow.

“I thought I’d at least come in eighth place, but I didn’t have the strength.

In Lillehammer, I had regrets because I went on the defensive when I was aiming for the gold, but this time I went all out,” Ogiwara said. “There’s still a chance of us winning a medal in the team event,” added Ogiwara, although most experts favor Finland, Germany and Austria.

Daito Takahashi, appearing in his first Olympics, started in sixth place after Saturday’s jumping, but lagged miserably behind over the 15-km race and slipped to 12th place. The next Japanese to finish was Gen Tomii in 33rd.

Samppa Lajunen and Jaakko Tallus gave Finland a gold-silver sweep, while World Cup leader Felix Gottwald of Austria grabbed the bronze.

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