KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) Germany took the lead in the Nordic combined team event Thursday when all four of its competitors, including normal hill gold medalist Eric Frenzel, ski jumped 125 meters or better.

Germany's opening cross-country skier will start seven seconds ahead of the first competitor from second-place Austria, the two-time defending champions, in the 4x5-kilometer cross-country ski relay race later Thursday.

Third-place Norway will start 25 seconds behind, with fourth-place France giving Germany a 35-second head start.

Finland was a late scratch because Eetu Vaehaesoeyrinki was ill. The team did not have a fifth athlete in Sochi and had to withdraw.

The United States, which won a silver medal in this event at Vancouver in 2010, finished eighth of nine teams and will start 1:52 behind.

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