Germany wins mixed team ski jump event at worlds
Feb. 22, 2015
FALUN, Sweden (AP) — Severin Freund helped Germany win the mixed team ski jump event at the Nordic skiing world championships Sunday by doing just enough in the final round to hold off Norway.
Germany led after three of four rounds but Norway's Rune Velta — who beat Freund to the individual normal hill gold on Saturday — put pressure on his rival by soaring 95.5 meters with his team's last jump. Freund did even better, though, jumping 96 meters to secure the gold.
Germany finished with 917.9 points, while Norway was 2.3 points back for silver. Japan — with 42-year-old veteran Noriaki Kasai on the team — took bronze.
Germany's team also consisted of newly crowned women's world champion Carina Vogt, Katharina Althaus and Richard Freitag. In the mixed event, each team has two men and two women.
"I am so happy right now I can't believe it," said Vogt, who also became ski jumping's first female Olympic champion in Sochi last year. "I felt we had good chances but Norway was so close, but yes we made it."
American jumper Nicholas Alexander crashed on his second jump when his left knee buckled after landing. He stayed down for about a minute and needed help to leave the landing area, but was smiling and waving to the crowd. U.S. team spokesman Tom Kelly said Alexander was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation.
The U.S. finished seventh, thanks in part to former world champion Sarah Hendrickson, who had the highest points total among the women, two days after finishing fifth in the individual competition. Hendrickson had the longest jump of the day — by man or woman — of 98.5 meters in the first round.
"That's really exciting," she said. "I had a blast."