Kokslien wins despite poor jump

Mikko Kokslien put a less than impressive ski jump behind him to record FIS Nordic Combined World Cup gold in Almaty, Kazakhstan thanks to a truly a storming cross-country ski.

Eurosport
Kokslien wins despite poor jump
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First-placed Mikko Kokslien of Norway celebrates as he crosses the finish line during the LH Individual Gundersen 10 km race at the FIS World Cup Nordic Combined in Almaty

The 26-year-old has been threatening to top the podium for the first time since the first event of 2012 in Oberstdorf with two thirds and a second from his last three outings.

However it looked like Kokslien would have to wait once more after his jump of 128m produced a score of just 116.8 points to put him 12th and with a 45-second time difference behind leader Akito Watabe.

Kokslien had other ideas though producing a blistering cross-country ski of 24:27.7minutes to take gold by nearly seven seconds ahead of Germany’s Bjoern Kircheisen, who took silver.

Watabe had to make do with bronze after recording a time of 25:23.3 – that putting just over ten seconds away from Kokslein overall while World Cup leader Jason Lamy Chappuis was fourth.

Italian Alessandro Pittin produced the second fastest cross-country time of 24:47.3 to move up from 30th after the ski jump to 14th but Kokslien’s win closes the gap between them in the overall rankings.

The Norwegian sits fourth with 644 points with Pittin third on 692, Watabe second on 733 and Lamy Chappuis currently comfortable at the top with 938.

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