Nordic World Cup Roundup for December 4, 2004

Nordic World Cup Roundup for December 4, 2004{mosimage}Ackermann Wins Nordic Combined in Norway
TRONDHEIM, Norway– Germany’s Ronny Ackermann won his second Nordic combined event of the season Saturday, edging Finland’s Hannu Manninen.

Ackermann, who shared victory with Austria’s Christoph Bieler in the ski jumping portion earlier in the day, finished the 15-kilometer freestyle cross country race in 34 minutes, 47.4 seconds to defeat Manninen by 20.6 seconds. Austrian Felix Gottwald placed third, 22.9 seconds behind.

Manninen, the defending overall champion, was a distant 18th in the ski jumping and started the race 1:49 behind Ackermann and Bieler. A superb skier, Manninen nearly made up the gap.

Bieler was fourth, 42.9 seconds behind. American Todd Lodwick, who was second to Manninen in the sprint opener in Finland last weekend, finished sixth in the combined event, 53.5 seconds back.

Johnny Spillane of the United States, was eighth, 1:08.2 behind. -The Associated Press

Janne Ahonen Wins Third Straight Ski Jump
TRONDHEIM, Norway — Janne Ahonen won his third straight World Cup ski jumping competition Saturday, collecting 281.5 points on two jumps for his 21st career win.

Competing under lights in northern Norway, the Finn jumped 132 meters in the first round and then had a 135.5-meter effort in the second round.

Last weekend, Ahonen won the first two World Cup meets in Finland.

Jakub Janda from the Czech Republic finished second Saturday with 277.3 points, his best result on the World Cup circuit, barely missing a chance to become his country’s first World Cup winner in 11 years. Janda had jumps of 130.5 and 133.

Andreas Widholzl of Austria was third with 268.5 points. -The Associated Press

Hetland, Bjorgen Win cross-country World Cups
BERN, Switzerland — Norwegians Marit Bjorgen and Tor Arne Hetland won World Cup cross country sprint races Saturday.

Bjorgen beat Claudia Kuenzel of Germany in the women’s 800-meter freestyle for her third win of the season. Ella Gjomle of Norway was third.

Bjorgen also stretched her lead in the overall standings. She now has 410 points, followed by Kristina Smigun of Estonia with 260. Smigun did not race in Bern.

In the men’s 1.35-kilometer freestyle, Hetland took his first victory of the season, edging Thobias Fredriksson of Sweden and third-place finisher Johan Kjolstad of Norway.

Vassili Rotchev of Russia used his 14th-place finish to jump from third to second in the overall rankings with 198 points. Axel Teichmann of Germany, who did not compete Saturday, stayed at the top with 283 points. -The Associated Press

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