Germany's Frenzel keeps cool in nordic combined
Gold medalist Germany's Eric Frenzel (front) and silver medalist Japan's Akito Watabe compete in the Nordic Combined Individual NH / 10 km Cross-Country during the Sochi Winter Olympics in Rosa Khutor near Sochi on February 12, 2014 - by Peter Parks
Starting first after winning the morning's ski jumping on the normal hill, Frenzel took the lead in the 10km cross country ski phase with only Akito Watabe of Japan for company.
With temperatures of 12 degrees Celsius (54 Fahrenheit) at the RusSki Gorki ski centre, Watabe gamely kept up with Frenzel but had no match for his final sprint.
Frenzel, who won a bronze in the team event in Vancouver 2010, finished in 23min 50.2sec with Watabe in second on 23min 54.4sec. Norway's Magnus Krog took the bronze in 23sec 58.3min.
Watabe was delighted with his result, which gave Japan its first Olympic medal in a nordic combined event in 20 years after it won the team event in 1994.
But World Cup leader Frenzel showed he is almost untouchable in the event and will be the man to beat when the athletes line up for the individual large hill on Tuesday.
"It feels so amazing, it is so incredible, there are no words to describe. It is the biggest moment of my life," he said.
His victory made it four days in a row that Germany has won at least one gold medal and propelled the country to the top of the medals table with five golds.
France's Jason Lamy Chappuis, the US-born normal hill 2010 Vancouver champion who carried France's flag at the opening ceremony, had a disastrous performance by his standards and came 35th.
He admitted his team may have chosen the wrong waxing for the base of his skis to help them glide on the slushy snow.
"Right from the start my legs were not working well, the glide was not good, it was a nightmare."
"I think it was both a problem with the waxing and a physical problem," he said.
Norway's Magnus Moan, who came fifth, said that the warm weather conditions were far from ideal.
"This is like a nice summer day in Trondheim (in the north of Norway) but, frankly, I would prefer if it was a bit colder."