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Lillehammer: Manninen wins nordic combined event; American Lodwick fourth


Lillehammer: Manninen wins nordic combined event; American Lodwick fourth{mosimage}LILLEHAMMER, Norway – Hannu Manninen of Finland cruised to his second World Cup Nordic combined victory of the season on Saturday.

Manninen beat runner-up Felix Gottwald of Austria by 1 minute, 18.1 seconds for his 33rd career World Cup win.
Manninen, the defending overall champion, finished fourth in the opening ski jumping portion and won the concluding 15-kilometer cross-country ski race in 41:14.5.

Ronny Ackermann of Germany, runner-up in the overall standings last season ahead of Gottwald, placed third. Todd Lodwick of the United States was fourth for his best finish of the season.

Anssi Koivuranta of Finland won the ski jump, but dropped to eighth overall.
The meet was moved to Lillehammer, site of the 1994 Winter Olympics, from Trondheim in northern Norway because of poor snow conditions.

American Bill Demong had his first top 10 in a combined event on the 1994 Olympic venues. Lodwick was sixth in jumping and moved up to fourth, 1:39.1 back of Manninen. Demong, 15th in jumping, had a top-10 time in the race for the third straight World Cup and finished 10th after a crash in the final kilometer heading back into the stadium as he was battling for a top-five placing.

“Todd’s not jumping as well as he can,” said jumping head coach Lasse Ottesen, “but he’s getting there. He still has some small things here and there that we work on … but I’m happy with the way things are going.”

He said Demong lost several places after the crash as skiers behind him scrambled past as he regained his footing. “It was disappointing but both of them were top 10 and we’ve got things going into a good direction, so this was a good day,” he said.

The event was moved from Trondheim because of poor snow. The weekend schedule concludes Sunday with a combined sprint.

- The Associated Press/USSA

World Cup nordic combined results
15-kilometer cross-country ski
Freestyle

Ski jumping and cross-country results in parenthesis
1. Hannu Manninen, Finland, 41 minutes, 14.5 seconds (4-3).
2. Felix Gottwald, Austria, 1:18.1 behind (22-2).
3. Ronny Ackermann, Germany, 1:22.2 (16-4).
4. Todd Lodwick, United States, 1:39.1 (6-16).
5. Georg Hettich, Germany, 1:40.1 (7-16).
6. Mario Stecher, Austria, 1:40.6 (13-10).
7. Jaakko Tallus, Finland, 1:49.1 (9-18).
8. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland, 1:49.1 (1-29).
9. Jens Gaiser, Germany, 1:50.7 (8-19).
10. Bill Demong, United States, 1:57.0 (15-8).
11. Magnus Moan, Norway, 2:09.8 (25-5).
12. Sebastian Haseney, Germany, 2:18.5 (34-1).
13. Jason Lamy Chappuis, France, 2:24.2 (3-28).
14. Thorsten Schmitt, Germany, 2:24.6 (12-21).
15. Havard Klemetsen, Norway, 2:25.4 (2-36).

Overall standings (After 3 of 21 events)
1. Hannu Manninen, Finland, 250 points.
2. Felix Gottwald, Austria, 160.
3. Petter Tande, Norway, 155.
4. Mario Stecher, Austria, 151.
5. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland, 138.
6. Magnus Moan, Norway, 114.
7. Georg Hettich, Germany, 107.
8. Todd Lodwick, United States, 103.
9. Jaakko Tallus, Finland, 101.
10. Ronny Ackermann, Germany, 95.

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