COC: Norwegian day also in Planica/Pokljuka
The Continental Cup Nordic Combined competition continued in Planica and Pokljuka this weekend and the Norwegian athletes took over the podium again today. Truls Johansen took his third win of the season by defeating teammate Ole Martin Storlien in a finish line sprint with just 0.3 seconds. A heartbeat later (+00:00.7), a third Norwegian, Sindre Ure Soetvik crossed the finish line and claimed his first-ever COC podium.
The first part of the competition clearly belonged to Tobias Simon of Germany who landed at 136.5 meters in Planica and headed to the nearby tracks on the Pokljuka plane with a 44 second advantage over Marjan Jelenko of Slovenia (126.5 m) and Philipp Kreuzer from Austria (127.5 m). At the intermediate point, Johansen only ranked 22nd, with a time disadvantage of +1:56 after a weaker jump of just 113.5 metres.
But the Norwegian team made a great effort on the 10 km course in Pokljuka. Truls Soenstehagen Johansen was the fastest and advanced from 22nd place to the 1st. His teammate Ole Martin Storlien trailed by only 3 tenths of second, while Sindre Ure Soetvik finished third. “It was a tough race, because I’ve started far behind. I had to go out hard and try to take it in the end and it worked out good,” said today’s winner.
The Norwegian team effort was rounded out by Gudmund Storlien finishing fourth and Audun Hokholt and Espen Bjoernstad also entering the Top Ten on ranks 8 and 9, giving Norway a total of 6 out of 10 Top Ten ranks. 5, 6 and 7 went to Germany’s Tobias Simon, Paul Hanf and Terence Weber, rank 10 to Austria’s Lukas Greiderer.
A second Individual Gundersen competition is on schedule at Planica tomorrow.