Milestone for Nordic Combined

13 August 2014 15:49
Big things ahead for Nordic Combined
Big things ahead for Nordic Combined -
GEPA Pictures

After months of physical conditioning, the Nordic Combined athletes will switch gears and return to competition as the Summer Grand Prix approaches.

A dense two-week period with five competitions and three qualifications in nine days is scheduled to begin on 22nd August at the traditional summer venues of Oberwiesenthal (GER), Villach (AUT) and Oberstdorf (GER). The five competitions will feature three different formats: team sprint, individual gundersen and the final individual gundersen with two jumps and 15 kilometres of roller-skiing for the top 30 athletes.

Youth camp and competition for girls

With the rules and competition formats stable, there will be nearly no testing at the Summer Grand Prix. Instead, the focus will be on the next generation with the 12th edition of the FIS Nordic Combined Youth Grand Prix. For the first time ever, the training camp will have both boys and girls participating in two days of international competitions.

It will be a milestone for Nordic Combined when the first ever international Nordic Combined competitions for 14 to 18 year old girls will take place at the final stage of the Summer Grand Prix in Oberstdorf on 29th and 30th August.

Old and new battles ahead for the Nordic Combined family

In addition to gauging who is in top shape after summer conditioning, the Summer Grand Prix will carry over a few key storylines from last season. How will the current overall World Cup winner Eric Frenzel perform in his hometown of Oberwiesenthal after taking up his studies again in addition to training? Can the joint winners of last summer, Bernhard Gruber and Akito Watabe, impress again? And what will happen next in last season’s hottest duel: Olympic gold medalist Jørgen Graabak vs. Oberstdorf’s local hero and overall World Cup runner-up Johannes Rydzek?

But true to Nordic Combined’s close-knit ties, everybody will also enjoy reconnecting with fellow competitors: “It will be nice to meet the boys again, hopefully they have all had a good summer and are ready for the Summer Grand Prix”, Graabak said. “Johannes is always strong. Hopefully I can perform well and if I have the chance to win, I will definitely take it! But maybe he will also want to go for a run and show me around on Nebelhorn one day?”