Germany’s Vinzenz Geiger won the men’s 5k nordic combined at the USANA FIS Junior Nordic World Championships. (FIS)
PARK CITY, UT (Feb. 4, 2017) – Germany’s Vinzenz Geiger took the final individual gold medal of the USANA FIS Junior Nordic World Championships, winning the men’s 5k nordic combined Saturday at the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow.
“It’s great to be on top of the podium today, after the 10k it was so hard for me due to some illness and an injury after I fell at the World Cup in Chaux Neuve,” Geiger said. “It just feels amazing to be Junior World Champion now.”
Finland’s Arttu Mäkiaho (left) was second, Germany’s Vinzenz Geiger won the gold and Laurent Muhlethaler of France was third in Saturday's nordic combined. (U.S. Ski Team-Tom Kelly)
Finland’s Arttu Mäkiaho, who won the gold in the 10k combined earlier in the week, finished second, while Laurent Muhlethaler of France was third. It was a solid day for the Americans, as Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, WI) was niinth and Stephen Schumann (Park City, UT) finished 15th.
Athletes faced some challenging condition during the jumping portion as headwinds and heavy snow led to a 10-minute break. Combined with the shorter 5k distance, the athletes had their work cut out for them to gain every precious meter and second possible.
Ben Loomis was ninth in the nordic combined. (U.S. Ski Team-Tom Kelly)
“5K really places a big importance on the jumping,” Loomis said. “It’s a lot harder to make up time, and these Europeans are really quick.”
Geiger took a four-second lead into the 5k race, eventually extending his winning margin to more than 22 seconds over Mäkiaho, who outsprinted Muhlethaler at the line for the silver medal. Mäkiaho, who was recovering from the flu, posted the day’s fastest 5k time, after starting 9th following the jumping portion.
The USANA FIS Junior Nordic World Championships wrap up Sunday with the men and women’s mixed relays at Soldier Hollow, and the mixed team HS100 jumping competition at the Utah Olympic Park.
Germany’s Vinzenz Geiger the men’s 5k nordic combined Saturday at the Utah Olympic Park.
Finland’s Arttu Mäkiaho finished second, while Laurent Muhlethaler of France was third.
Ben Loomis was the top American in 9th, and Stephen Schumann finished 15th.
QUOTES Vinzenz Geiger It’s great to be on top of the podium today, after the 10km it was so hard for me due to some illness and an injury after I fell at the World Cup in Choux Neuve. It just feels amazing to be Junior World Champion now.“
Arttu Mäkiaho Before I came here I did never expect that I would be going home with two medals. Those two competitions were just fantastic for me. The race was pretty tough. I caught a cold after the team event, but after getting some sleep I felt a lot better this morning. I knew that if I did well on the hill, a medal would be possible. And here it is now. I’m super satisfied."
Laurent Muhlethaler I had a great feeling today. This morning on the ski jump I had a good jump, which was important since the 5km race is so intense. I really wanted to win a medal. That I achieved it makes me super happy.“
Ben Loomis 5K really places a big importance on the jumping. It’s a lot harder to make up time and these Europeans are really quick.
I was happy with (my jump), but I’m never really satisfied. I’m always hoping for more and that keeps me motivated.
Stephen Schumann It’s a lot harder to make up time on a 5k because it’s that much shorter and everyone is going that much faster. So it really makes it difficult to do too much in the race. It’s still possible, you just have to push yourself that extra level.
I was just looking to chase down as may people as I could, but I knew that if I went out too hard that there was no way I’d be able to finish the race, and I’d get passed by a bunch of people at the end. So I just tried to take it a little easy the first lap, then push it as hard as I could on the second lap and over the very last hill and try to drop the guys I was with.