Norway hold off Germany for dramatic team win
By David Ljunggren
ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Norway scraped the narrowest of wins in a dramatic finish to the Olympic Nordic combined men's team event on Thursday, holding off Germany to grab the gold by 0.3 seconds.
Coming into the stadium at the end of the 4 x 5 km cross-country relay race, Norway's Joergen Graabak was just ahead of Fabian Riessle.
Graabak had been in the same position during Tuesday's individual large hill event and pulled away to win easily. When he tried the same move on Thursday, Riessle stuck with him and Graabak barely found the strength to hold on.
"I've had a lot of good sprints this year and I knew if I was the first one into the stadium I was pretty confident that I'd be the first one over the finish line," Graabak told reporters.
"I saw behind me that Riessle was throwing his foot forward, but I was confident that I was first."
Defending champions Austria were third, 3.4 seconds behind the Norwegians.
The win capped an excellent Olympics for the Norwegian Nordic combined squad, who had already won gold and silver in the individual large hill and a bronze on the normal hill.
Given the Norwegians' excellence on the race course the German performance was admirable, especially because world number one Eric Frenzel was still suffering the after-effects of a virus. Continued...