PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA – Akito Watabe had his heart broken for the second time at the Pyeongchang Olympics, missing gold again on Tuesday, this time in the Nordic combined large hill 10-km event.
Watabe opened the cross-country leg with a 31-second lead over German gold medalist Johannes Rydzek after leading the way with a 138.9-point leap, but could not maintain the gap and fell to fifth when he was reeled in by a three-man German chase pack.
Rydzek outsprinted his countrymen Fabian Riessle and normal hill gold medalist Eric Frenzel, who claimed silver and bronze, respectively.
Watabe can take some solace from the silver he won in the normal hill event, but will rue clipping skis with a fellow racer at a crucial moment on the final lap, the incident costing him momentum at the most inopportune time.
Go Yamamoto started the cross-country leg in eighth almost 1 minute behind Watabe and finished in 16th. Hideaki Nagai skied past his compatriot to finish 12th and Yoshito Watabe crossed in 20th.