Nordic combined

Joergen Graabak Makes Late Pass to Secure Gold in Nordic Combined Individual Large Hill

The top three finishers were separated by less than one second

Joergen Graabak of Team Norway celebrates winning the Gold medal as Silver medal winner Jens Luraas Oftebro of Team Norway and Bronze medal winner Akito Watabe of Team Japan cross the finishing line
Lars Baron/Getty Images

In a thrilling finish, Norway's Joergen Graabak won the gold medal in Nordic combined individual large hill.

Graabak started the 10km cross-country ski race just over two minutes behind the leader, Norway's Jarl Magnus Riiber, following the ski jumping scores.

Riiber allowed a large group of competitors to catch him in the race after going the wrong way in the early going. The mistake set up an intense finish, as Norway's Jens Luraas Oftebro and Japan's Akito Watabe sprinted to the line and finished just 0.4 seconds and 0.6 seconds behind Graabak, respectively.

Watabe started the race 44 seconds behind Riiber, but he led by the 3.5km mark after Riiber's mistake. He also led at the 5.0km and 6.0km marks before surrendering the lead to Austria's Johannes Lamparter at the 7.5km and 8.5km mark.

The final 1.5km is where Graabak made his move. Behind by 15.5 seconds with 1.5km remaining, he and Oftebro (who was 16.2 seconds back) made an insane charge to the leaders. By the time they crossed the line, Lamparter was in sixth place at 18 seconds back -- a 33.5-second difference in just 1.5km.

Graabak, 30, now has five career Olympic medals (three golds, two silvers). He won silver in the individual normal hill earlier at the 2022 Games. The victory also made Graabak the first two-time Olympic gold medalist in the men's large hill event after he took the gold in 2014.

Team USA has four skiers compete in the 48-athlete field. Jared Shumate led the way in 17th, with Ben Loomis in 19th, Taylor Fletcher in 23rd and Jasper Good in 34th.

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