American Demong Wins Nordic Race

Saturday, March 10, 2007

American Bill Demong won a World Cup Nordic combined race yesterday in Lahti, Finland, his first victory in five years.

Demong, who won silver last week at the Nordic Skiing World Championships in Sapporo, Japan, was 10th after the jumping and dominated the 15-kilometer cross-country race to win in 39 minutes 31.9 seconds.

Demong jumped 120.5 and 121 meters and beat Germany's Sebastian Haseney by 6.6 seconds and World Cup leader Hannu Manninen by 15.6.

It was his second career win after a 2002 victory in Liberec, Czech Republic.

"The ski jumping was the crucial point to get a decent start," Demong said. "My cross-country skiing is really stable and I can rely on that. Now, two decent jumps put me ahead of most of the dangerous guys, and that was the crucial difference between finishing fourth or worse, or on the podium."

Demong, 26, from Vermontville, N.Y., fractured his skull in 2002 after diving into a hotel swimming pool following a competition in Winterberg, Germany, and was sidelined for a year. The accident came eight months after he was airlifted off a jump in Slovakia following a face-first crash into the hill during training.

-- From News Services

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