Rydzek beats Watabe to win Nordic Combined event in Finland

KUOPIO, Finland (AP) Germany's Johannes Rydzek won a duel with Akito Watabe of Japan that lasted for most of the second half of the 10-kilometer cross country course to win a Nordic Combined World Cup event on Tuesday.

Rydzek's time was 23 minutes, 59.6 seconds, with Watabe coming in 6.2 seconds later. Wilhelm Denifl of Austria was third, 35.4 behind.

Rydzek completed a hat trick of victories for German competitors in Finland. World Cup leader Eric Frenzel and Fabian Riessle won the two events at Lahti last weekend.

Riessle came fifth Tuesday, with Frenzel finishing seventh.

Known for his strength in cross country skiing, Rydzek had laid the foundation of his victory with fifth place in the jump. He quickly canceled out a 34-second deficit on Watabe during the first half-dozen kilometers.

Frenzel has a 143-point cushion in the overall standings over second-place Watabe.

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