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Norway’s Graabak wins NC individual large hill 10km; Taylor Fletcher 20th, Bill Demong 31st

Sochi Olympics Nordic Combined Men

Norway’s Joergen Graabak celebrates winning the gold during the Nordic combined individual Gundersen large hill competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Matthias Schrader

Norway’s Joergen Graabak survived a wild finish to win gold in the Nordic combined individual large hill 10km, while countryman Magnus Moan took advantage of contact between two German competitors to claim the silver.

Graabak was narrowly ahead of the lead pack as they headed into the next-to-last turn of the cross-country course, when Fabian Riessle went to the inside of fellow German Johannes Rydzek for second.

Reissle and Rydzek appeared to make contact before the latter fell down, with Moan slipping by Riessle during the incident and hanging on in the final moments for the silver. Reissle finished half a second up on another teammate, Bjoern Kircheisen, to salvage the bronze.

Graabak becomes the Olympic champion after overcoming a 42-second time difference to Germany’s Eric Frenzel after the jumping portion, in which he placed sixth.

Frenzel, battling through a virus, was unable to hold on to his lead in the skiing portion and faded back to a 10th place result. This comes after he won the gold in the individual normal hill 10km last Wednesday.

MORE: South Korea wins gold in short track 3000m relay

Taylor Fletcher was 35th after the jumping, but charged 15 spots in the skiing to finish 20th, leading Team USA.

His teammate and defending Olympic champion, Bill Demong, finished 31st after placing 38th in the jumping.

That stuck him with a 2:18 deficit going into the skiing, effectively ending his bid for a good finish.

NORDIC COMBINED - INDIVIDUAL LARGE HILL + 10KM
1. Joergen Grabaak (NOR), 22:45.5
2. Magnus Moan (NOR), +0.6 seconds
3. Fabian Reissle (GER), +1.6 seconds
--
20. Taylor Fletcher (USA), +1:17.1
22. Bryan Fletcher (USA), 1:24.8
31. Bill Demong (USA), 2:13.8
Todd Lodwick (USA), 30th in jump, DNS in ski

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