Top jumpers complain unfair at Olympic Nordic combined

08:18, February 26, 2010      

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Top jumpers in the Olympic Nordic combined individual large hill/10K complained that weather conditions were unfair for the jump portion of the event at the Whistler Olympic Park Friday morning.

Athletes jumped in wind, driving rain and snow and the original round was cancelled after 31 jumpers and restarted from the beginning.

"This competition is a joke," said Magnus Moan of Norway, who is 28th after the jump and started two minutes and 21 seconds behind jump leader Bernard Gruber of Austria in the afternoon's cross-country ski, a 10-kilometer race.

Although the round was completed with 46 jumps on the second attempt, jumpers near the end of the round, who are at the top of the World Cup standings, faced more challenging weather than some athletes who had gone before them.

"It is not fair and it is not fun," said Moan, who finished 15th finally though his cross-country is among top three.

"The conditions weren't very good for the five best World Cup athletes," said Felix Gottwald of Austria, finishing 17th with top place in cross-country but a poor 40th in jump.

He started 3:13 back. Jason Lamy Chappuis, who won the normal hill 10-kilometer individual gold on Feb. 14, was 29th after the jump and settled in 18th after the skiing.

FIS Nordic combined press manager Egon Theiner said the competition had been as fair as possible under the conditions.

"When we restarted at 11:00, we had constant in-run speed, so from this point of view there was no problem. Of course, there was still wind, but all jumpers had more or less the same in-run speed and all jumped within the same wind corridor. Some athletes won't be that happy but this is the danger of an outdoor sport," said Theiner.

World Cup leader and NH individual/10km cross-country gold medallist Jason Lamy Chappuis, who was the final jumper, lamented the way the rules work after jumping 113 meters, placing 29th.

"It's like a lottery," said Lamy Chappuis, born in Missoula, Montana but who skis for France.

"Some guys got good conditions, and other guys got bad conditions. There's a corridor and, if the light is green, you can jump. But conditions are still not fair. It's clearly not like an Olympic competition. That's a shame."

Source: Xinhua
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