LAHTI, Finland – Japan’s Daito Takahashi collected his second Nordic combined World Cup title in as many days when he prevailed in the final race of the season in Finland on Saturday.
Takahashi, who won the sprint event on Friday, went top after the ski jumping portion with jumps of 121 and 122 meters on the K-116 large hill and held on to beat Austria’s Felix Gottwald in the 15-km cross-country race with a time of 40 minutes, 23.8 seconds.
Gottwald had to settle for second again when he came home 44 seconds behind Takahashi with local favorite and double Olympic gold medalist Sampaa Lajunen taking third.
“I had two solid jumps and with the (48 second) lead I had at the start (of the race) I thought I’d be able to hold on and win,” said Takahashi, whose victory on Friday saw him become the first Japanese to win a Nordic combined World Cup since Kenji Ogiwara did so in February 1996.
“I’ve learned a lot this season and it has been a very satisfying one for me,” added the 23-year-old who finished fifth in the overall standings with 817 points.
Finland’s Hannu Manninen, who finished fourth in Saturday’s event, topped the standings with 1,392 points, followed by 2002 and 2003 champion Ronny Ackermann of Germany (1,143) and Lajunen (1,058).
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