Winter Games
Summer Games

Gottwald takes gold in nordic combined sprint

Pragelato Plan, Italy (Sports Network) - Felix Gottwald of Austria won the gold medal in the nordic combined sprint event Tuesday at the Winter Olympics.

Gottwald started the cross country portion of the event 54 seconds behind leader Georg Hettich of Germany after finishing 12th in the earlier ski jumping, but the Austrian still crossed the finish line with the best overall time of 18 minutes and 29 seconds.

Magnus-H. Moan of Norway came in 5.4 seconds later for the silver and Hettich took bronze with a time of 18:38.6.

This is the exact same trio that medaled in the nordic combined individual event. Hettich came in first in that competition, Gottwald took silver and Moan grabbed bronze.

Both Gottwald and Hettich have three medals at the Torino Games. Gottwald also won a gold with Austria in the team event and Hettich picked up silver with the German squad.

Gottwald now has six Olympic medals overall after winning three bronze medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

"I had a very good feeling over the last few days. I felt very good in cross country." said Gottwald. "It is wonderful for a sportsman to train for years and years and to get a gold medal."

Jason Lamy Chappuis of France was second after the jumping segment, but finished fourth -- 22.5 second behind Gottwald.

Hannu Manninen once again failed to earn his first individual Olympic medal in this his fourth and possibly final Winter Games. Manninen ended with a 12th- place finish and a time of 19:21.0.

Manninen, the overall leader in the World Cup standings, has won three Olympic medals (gold, silver and bronze) in the team event. The Finnish team won the bronze at this year's Games after taking gold four years ago.

"Of course I'm disappointed," said Manninen. "After the realy I got a flu. I was sick for four days, so it affected my skiing today."

Todd Lodwick and Johnny Spillane of the United States finished ninth and 10th, respectively. Lodwick was 42.4 seconds behind the leader and Spillane was 3.8 seconds further in back of his countryman.

Lodwick announced after the event that this would be his last Winter Games.

"This is my fourth Olympics," said Lodwick. "It started with the Opening Ceremony in 1994 (Lillelhammer, Norway) and for me the Olympics will end with the Closing Ceremony here."

02/21 10:39:36 ET