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Mid-February World Cups finish

Thu, Feb  19, 2009 - By FIS

The final FIS Nordic World Cups before the World Championships in Liberec (CZE) were held in Valdidentro (ITA), Oberstdorf and Klingenthal (both GER).

A free technique sprint and a classical technique distance race were on the schedule in the Viessmann FIS Cross-Country World Cup at the first-time Italian World Cup venue of Valdidentro. On Friday, the season's sprint dominators Petra Majdic (SLO) and Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR) again left no chance to their challengers as they recorded their fifth season wins. Majdic also secured the sprint World Cup title while Hattestad was 5 points short of confirming his second consecutive title. On Saturday, Justyna Kowalczyk from Poland took her third season victory ahead of the home favorite Marianna Longa (ITA). In the men's race the Scandinavians swept the podium led by Anders Södergren (SWE) narrowly ahead of Jens Arne Svartedal (NOR) and Johan Olsson (SWE).

The FIS Ski Jumping World Cup featured the inaugural FIS Team Tour which was won by the Norwegian team which earned the extra prize money of 100'000. Austria finished second and Finland followed as third. The Team Tour overall ranking consisted of the results of the two team competitions and the results of the two best jumpers in each team in the three individual events.

On the concluding weekend of the Team Tour in Oberstdorf (GER), Finland won the final team Ski Flying competition beating a surprisingly strong Team Russia and Team Austria which gave two of its stars a hiatus. On Saturday, in challenging conditions, Finland's Harri Olli took his first World Cup win in the individual Ski Flying competition and also put an end to the winning streak by Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT) who was seeking to become the lone record holder with seven back-to-back Ski Jumping World Cup wins.

In Klingenthal, overall World Cup leader Anssi Koivuranta (FIN) managed to grow his lead over Norwegian challenger Magnus Moan as he scored his sixth World Cup victory this season ahead of Moan on Saturday. On Sunday, Bill Demong of the USA claimed his third season win in the DKB FIS Nordic Combined World Cup. Jason Lamy Chappuis (FRA) trailed by 0.8 seconds ahead of Liberec native Pavel Churavy (CZE). The ski jumping session was overshadowed by a fall by Anssi Koivuranta, who jumped 148.5 m but fell. He finished 7th.