• Kyodo


Japan’s Daito Takahashi staved off a strong challenge from Felix Gottwald of Austria in the sprint competition en route to winning his first World Cup title in a Nordic combined event on Friday.

News photo Daito Takahashi celebrates
his win in the Nordic combined
event at the World Cup in Lahti,
Finland, on Friday.

Takahashi, who took the lead with a leap of 122.5 meters in the ski jumping portion, beat Gottwald by 1.1 seconds in the 7.5-km sprint to become the first Japanese to win a Nordic combined World Cup since Kenji Ogiwara did so in February 1996.

Gottwald, who has won a total of 16 titles, put pressure on Takahashi around the 6-km point but the 23-year-old made a mad dash for the goal to secure victory.

“This is just one victory. This will be fuel for my next challenge. I still have a lot more to accomplish,” said Takahashi, who is in his sixth season on the World Cup circuit.

Finland’s Hannu Manninen placed third at the meet and won the overall World Cup title with one event remaining.

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