Russian impressive in Nordic combined training

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 15, 2014 at 6:08 am •  Published: February 15, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Nordic combined athlete Evgeniy Klimov, under consideration by the Russian Olympic Committee to replace an injured ski jumping teammate, put on quite a show Saturday on a spring-like opening day of training for the large hill at the Sochi Games.

Klimov, who finished first once and third twice in three ski jumping rounds, could replace the injured Mikhail Maksimochkin in the ski jumping team event Monday. A decision is expected Sunday.

The 20-year-old Klimov finished third in the ski jumping portion of the Nordic combined normal hill competition.

Normal hill gold medal winner Eric Frenzel's best placing Saturday was seventh in extremely mild, sunny conditions at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center.

"The hill is not so easy," an uneasy Frenzel said. "At the moment I do not have the best feeling. After training I will speak to my trainers about the mistakes and how I can make this better."

Many jumpers stripped off the top of their suits and were shirtless as they walked from the landing area back to the athletes' compound. The local weather office reported a "real feel" temperature under the bright sunshine of 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit).

As is usually the case, training was optional on the adjacent cross-country course for the 10-kilometer race, which follows the ski jumping portion of Nordic combined.

Jason Lamy Chappuis of France, who won gold in the normal hill event at Vancouver in 2010, had the best placing in the first round while Akito Watabe of Japan, who won silver behind Frenzel in the normal hill, led the second.

"It is so hot here, I feel like it's the Summer Olympics," said Watabe.

Magnus Moan of Norway, whose best placing Saturday was a ninth, says he loves the large hill — and the weather in Sochi.

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