Watabe defends Nordic crown


Akito Watabe successfully defended the title with a comfortable victory in the Nordic combined national championship on Sunday.

Watabe, who has two runnerup finishes on the World Cup circuit this season, continued his superb form when he took first in the jumping portion before pulling ahead in the 10-km cross country en route to victory in Nayoro, Hokkaido.

Yusuke Minato placed second, 2 minutes, 1 second behind. Watabe’s younger brother Yoshito was third. Hideaki Nagai and Taihei Kato were fourth and fifth, respectively.