It´s only 65 days left to the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2015 in Falun and for all media representatives who plan to be on location when the medals in Cross-Country, Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping are given away, it's now time to apply for accreditation in case you haven't done so far.
Unfortunately, the final Team Event of the season 2013/14 had to be cancelled. Jumping was not possible on Falun's Lugnet hill today due to the strong and changing winds.
After the competition program had to be changed due to the difficult wind conditions on Lugnet's hill today, Akito Watabe claimed the last individual win of the winter and stood on top of the podium for the first time this season. After a strong race, he crossed the finish line 4.9 seconds ahead of Joergen Graabak from Norway who claimed the silver rank like in his first race of the winter in Kuusamo. The third place went to Alessandro Pittin from Italy who finished 6.8 seconds after the winner and returned to the individual podium after a absence of about two years.
Eric Frenzel is simply unstoppable on the jumping hill. The overall World Cup winner of the season 2013/14 gave his competitors no chance once more and won the Provisional Competition Round with a new hill record of 99.5 metres. He was closely followed by Olympic silver medallist Akito Watabe from Japan who jumped 98 metres and with 127.4 points, this meant a time behind of only two seconds on the cross-country track. Third on the intermediate result list was Norwegian Thomas Kjelbotn who continues to move up into the top jumpers of the field. He set 94.5 metres and with 126.3 points, this means a time behind of seven seconds for the cross-country race.
Even though it seems as if the winter 2013/14 just began, another season is nearly over with just one more highlight at the very end to go: the pre-World Championships in Falun, Sweden. With an Individual Gundersen and a Team Event, Falun will see the return of Nordic Combined to Sweden after the last competitions have been held in 1999 and will at the same time be an important test for all teams in regards to the World Championships which are going to take place next winter.
Right after the Nordic Combined Triple, the next highlight will follow suit: the Olympic Games in Sochi. Part II of the extended season preview will take you to all stops of the later part of the winter!