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Germany Maintains Nordic Combined Dominance With Team Gold

Germany won the previous two Nordic combined events at Pyeongchang and joined Finland as the only country to win three gold medals in the sport

Carrying his country's flag in one hand, Johannes Rydzek capped a dominating performance to give Germany more Olympic gold.

Rydzek crossed the finish line with an overwhelming 52.7-second advantage as the Germans won the Nordic combined team event Thursday at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Second after the ski jumping stage, Germany wasted little time in taking the lead in the 4x5-kilometer cross-country relay race. Vinzenz Geiger erased a six-second deficit for a comfortable 12-second advantage after the first leg.

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Any doubt about the winner was erased when Fabian Riessle widened the lead to 44 seconds before handing off to Eric Frenzel.

Skiing alone on the cross-country course at Alpensia Ski Jumping Center, Rydzek was handed a German flag at the last turn and was mobbed by his teammates as he crossed the finish line.

Defending champion Norway was second, followed by Austria, which was first after the ski jump.

Germany won the previous two Nordic combined events at the Pyeongchang Games and joined Finland as the only country to win three gold medals in the sport in one Winter Olympics.

With Germany so far out in the lead, the focus shifted to which country would finish second.

Joergen Graabak held off Mario Seidl on the last leg to give Norway the silver. Japan was fourth, followed by France and Finland.

The win gave Germany its 13th gold medal of the games, tying it with Norway for the overall lead.

Frenzel won gold in the Nordic combined normal hill while Rydzek took gold in the large hill competition.

In total, Germany won three gold medals, one silver and one bronze in Nordic combined.

The American men struggled. Bryan and Taylor Fletcher, Ben Berend and Ben Loomis finished the event in 10th place out of 10 teams, 5:16.7 behind Germany and 1.7 seconds behind ninth-placed Poland.

Each Nordic combined team consists of four jumpers, who each take one jump from the large hill in the first portion of the competition.

The same skiers who participate in the jumping portion must compete in the 4x5km cross-country skiing relay, which is held later the same day.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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