Top Nordic combined athletes skip the jump

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 16, 2014 at 5:28 am •  Published: February 16, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — It was a clear, sunny day in the mountains at the Sochi Olympics on Sunday, which may have been a factor for the high number of Nordic combined athletes who opted out of practice on the large hill ski jump.

German team officials confirmed their star athlete, World Cup leader and normal hill gold medalist Eric Frenzel, wouldn't go to the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center for the second day of training.

Also missing were normal hill silver medalist Akito Watabe of Japan and bronze winner Magnus Krog of Norway.

Training for the 10-kilometer cross-country portion of Nordic combined was optional on a course adjacent to the ski hill. Further training sessions are scheduled for Monday ahead of Tuesday's final.

Evginiy Klimov, one of the leading jumpers in Nordic combined, also took the day off — with good reason.

Klimov has been drafted provisionally into the Russian team for Monday night's regular ski jumping final on the large hill, replacing the injured Mikhail Maksimochkin.

Maksimochkin broke two ribs in a training fall on Wednesday and spent two nights in the hospital. Klimov was listed as the leadoff jumper for Sunday night.

Only 33 of 55 scheduled starters jumped in Sunday's first round of Nordic combined training, 36 in the second and just 30 in the third, when American veteran Todd Lodwick of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, finished in fourth position.

Coming back from a left shoulder injury that curtailed his Olympic preparations, the 37-year-old Lodwick, who carried the U.S. flag in the opening ceremony, was a member of the U.S. team that won the team silver at Vancouver.

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