COC: Simon makes it a double, Fritz with overall victory
Tobias Simon has also taken the victory in the last of three Individual Gundersen events in Nizhny Tagil. The competition, which was scheduled as a 2 jump, 15 km Final Ind. Gundersen had to be shortened to one jump and 10 km of racing due to the difficult wind conditions.
Simon ruled the HS 100 jumping hill in today’s event and with 98.5 metres (131.9 p.), he went out on the cross-country track from the pole position and with a head start of 26 seconds on Japanese Go Yamamoto (102 m; 125.4 p.). Hisaki Nagamine was intermediate third with 96 m and 122.4 p., starting 38 seconds behind Simon. Local hero Ernest Yahin pleased the spectators with the fourth rank after jumping, green bib bearer Martin Fritz was fifth and had to catch up one minute and seven seconds on Simon. Fast skier Lukas Runggaldier also had a good day on the hill and ranked ninth after the jumping part, with the task of making up one minute and 28 seconds on the track.
In the race, however, nobody was able to touch Tobias Simon. The German skied a lonely race and saved 4.1 seconds of his advantage to cross the finish line first. Behind him, French athlete Hugo Buffard skied an incredible race from position 26 to the second position. Having started with a time disadvantage on two minutes and 18 seconds, Buffard proved that nothing is impossible. He skied the fastest time of 23:30.9 and overtook everybody except for Simon on the track. Lukas Runggaldier hat to concede defeat to Buffard but claimed the second third place in a row by finishing 0.9 seconds after the Frenchman.
Martin Fritz finished fourth and won his second COC overall victory with this result and a point total of 687 points. Runner-up David Welde from Germany ended up on the fifth position and so the Austrian had a 81-point lead after the last event. His two recent victories catapulted Tobias Simon on the third position in the overall ranking (467 p.).
Austria won the Nations Cup with 3157 points, Germany was second with 2261 and Norway third with 2034 points.