Johannes Rydzek is the first Nordic Combined winner at the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in Otepää (EST) today. The German athlete won the Normal Hill/10 km event in front of Marjan Jelenko (SLO) and Kaarel Nurmsalu (EST).
Kaarel Nurmsalu (EST) won the ski jumping portion on the Tehvandi hill (HS100.0m). The athlete of the Skiclub Telemark jumped 96.5 m for a total of 128.0 points and relegated Germany’s Johannes Rydzek (93.5 m/121.0 points) on the second and Marjan Jelenko (SLO/93.5 m/120.5 points) on the third place.
Therefore, Nurmsalu, who has gotten first place at a COC competition in
Klingenthal recently, started with an initial advantage of 28 seconds in front of Rydzek and 30 seconds in front of Jelenko. Japan’s Reruhi Shimizu was already 44 seconds behind, and the gap of fifth placed Manuel Faisst (GER) was more than one minute (1:06). Ole-Christian Wendel from Norway, 27th at half-time, trailed by 2:40 minutes.
As expected, Rydzek and Jelenko closed the gap to the leader; after 2.5 km, Nurmsalu’s advantage was just 7 seconds. In the second lap, a trio led the race. Then, Rydzek increased the speed. First Nurmsalu, then Jenko weren’t able to follow the strong German.
At the finish line, Rydzek was the new World Champion, 47.8 seconds in front of Jelenko and 1:02.5 minutes ahead of Nurmsalu. Fourth place went to Wendel who had an impressive cross-country race. He delivered the fastest time (25:18.3)
Rydzek’s victory is the 17th Junior World Championships Gold Medal for Germany (including GDR and FRG) in Nordic Combined since 1968 (when this competition was held for the first time) and the first since 2007, when Eric Frenzel won the Sprint competition. Former and current World class athletes like Ulrich Wehling, Hermann Weinbuch or Bjoern Kircheisen have won this competition before Rydzek did it today.
Today’s Top Three:
1. Johannes Rydzek (GER) 121.0 (2)/26:09.7 (9) 26:37.7
2. Marjan Jelenko (SLO) 120.5 (3)/27:40.72(33) +1:02.5
3. Kaarel Nurmsalu (EST) 128.0 (1)/26:55.5 (18) +47.8
Complete Result: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/NK/4005/2011NK4005ROF.pdf
PRESS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS
When I competed last year (in Hinterzarten, Germany) I was really nervous, because everybody was looking at my performance and so I couldn’t handle the pressure. This year I was better prepared, especially mentally. I showed my best performance today. I tried to make my race to get Kaarel and then see how strongly I can go. It worked very well for me.
My tactic was to be with Johannes as long as I could. I was really satisfied with my performance. I think when I do my best jump at the next race I can get the podium again.
I am very happy, my job is done now. I got the medal. I know that Johannes is very good skier and he started with Marjan so I expect that they would catch me and if it’s possible I go with them. But it wasn’t possible. All the time I got information about who is following me and I expected medal. And I got it. Of course I got nervous when Christian got closer and closer, but after third lap I was 90% sure that I would get the medal.