Watabe falls short in Nordic event


Akito Watabe came seventh in the final World Cup Nordic combined meet of the season Saturday, failing in his bid to become the first Japanese athlete to win an overall title in 17 seasons.

Watabe finished runnerup with a personal best of 1,238 points to Frenchman Jason Lamy Chappuis, who claimed his third consecutive overall crown with 1,306 points.

Taihei Kato pulled off his first career podium finish in third place after taking the lead with a jump of 129 meters and remaining in contention in the 10-km cross country leg.

“It’s too bad. I tried my best to catch him (Chappuis). But I am happy about placing second overall,” said Watabe. “I believe I have shown my capabilities this season, and I can aim for the overall crown next season.”