• Kyodo

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Akito Watabe took bronze in the Nordic combined large hill individual Gundersen competition Thursday to reach the podium at a third straight Nordic World Ski Championships.

Reigning junior world champion Johannes Lamparter from Austria won the event in Oberstdorf, Germany, ahead of normal hill world champion Jarl Magnus Riiber and Watabe.

The 32-year-old Watabe achieved the second-highest score in the jump, flying 137.5 meters and earning 147.6 points to start the 10-kilometer cross-country race 22 seconds behind Lamparter.

With Lamparter leaving the rest of the field in his wake, Watabe was unable to hold off Riiber in a battle for silver despite a 15-second head start on the Norwegian.

The 19-year-old Lamparter won in 23 minutes, 11.1 seconds, crossing 37.1 seconds ahead of Riiber, with Watabe a further 8.7 seconds back.

Watabe, who finished fifth in the normal hill competition earlier in the championships, was pleased with the result, but said the cross-country leg was tougher than expected.

“I’m pretty happy to win a bronze medal today, but on the other hand, I’m a little disappointed with my cross-country performance,” Watabe said.

“(I tried) to catch up to Lamparter, but his skiing was really great. It was so hard. I was totally empty by the end.”

Among the other Japanese competitors, Ryota Yamamoto finished 10th, Hideaki Nagai was 21st and Yoshito Watabe 23rd.

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