February 20, 2015

FALUN, Sweden (AP) Carina Vogt doesn't win often - only when it really matters.

The women's Olympic ski jump champion added another gold medal to her collection on Friday by winning the normal hill event at the Nordic skiing world champion.

While the bigger favorites faltered, Vogt showed again that she performs her best at the major events by putting down two consistent jumps for a total of 236.9 points. That put her 1.8 points ahead of Japan's Yuki Ito and 3.1 in front of Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria, the overall World Cup leader who had led after the first round.

Vogt now has as many major championship titles as World Cup victories - two.

''It's overwhelming,'' Vogt said. ''Last year Olympic champion and this year world champion. ... It happened again.''

Her victory wrapped up a perfect day for Germany after Johannes Rydzek won the Nordic combined normal hill event in the only other medal event.

Despite being Olympic champion, Vogt's win was a bit of a surprise. Most had expected the women's ski jump to be a two-way duel between Iraschko-Stolz and Japanese star Sara Takanashi, the two-time overall World Cup champion.

But Takanashi, who has 29 individual World Cup victories, again came up short at a major event. She had a poor first jump that landed her in ninth place before putting down the longest leap of the day with 93 meters in the second. However, that was still only good for fourth place - just like at the Olympics in Sochi where she was a huge favorite. It kept her without a major individual title, having taken silver at the 2013 worlds behind Sarah Hendrickson of the United States.

Hendrickson, who only recently returned to form following a serious knee injury, also had a disappointing first jump that put her in eighth, before improving to finish sixth.

Iraschko-Stolz, meanwhile, led by nearly four points after the first round but made a big error on her takeoff in the second.

''I really don't know how I make such a mistake in the second round,'' the Austrian said. ''I had no skis after takeoff. But that happens.''

Earlier, Rydzek beat Alessandro Pittin of Italy in a two-man sprint to the finish to win the first Nordic combined event of the championships.

Rydzek and Pittin pulled away from five other skiers on the final kilometer of the 10K cross-country race and the German had the stronger finish to earn his first world title after getting three silver medals in 2011. He finished in 26 minutes, 38.9 seconds, beating Pittin by 1.3 seconds.

''Every child that comes to sport has this dream to be a world champion, and now I am one,'' Rydzek said.

Defending world champion Jason Lamy Chappuis of France was third while Olympic champion Eric Frenzel of Germany had to settle for fourth after leading following the ski jump portion.

Former Olympic champion Bill Demong of the United States tried to make up a gap of nearly a minute in the cross-country race but tired toward the end and finished 25th.

''I felt pretty good for the first couple of laps, but when I had to follow other people, I think I fell apart a little bit,'' Demong said.

Taylor Fletcher was the best American in 19th, while his brother Bryan was 21st.

Saturday's program includes men's and women's cross-country skiathlon races and the men's normal hill ski jump.

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