Lodwick 5th, Demong 6th in World Championships

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— Steamboat Springs’ Todd Lodwick placed fifth and teammate Billy Demong was sixth in the Nordic World Championships large hill Nordic combined competition in Oslo, Norway, on Wednesday.

Lodwick ranked 12th after the ski jumping competition and Demong was 20th.

Jason Lamy-Chap­­puis, of France, won the gold medal, Jo­­hannes Rydzek, of Germany, claimed silver, and countryman Eric Frenzel took his second medal of the World Championships, finishing third.

Steamboat’s Johnny Spillane finished 22nd, and Bryan Fletcher was 30th in the field of 54.

Lamy-Chappuis, Rydzek and Frenzel ranked second, fifth and sixth, respectively, after the jumping competition.

Lodwick started the cross-country race 1:12 behind the leader, Havaard Klemetsen, of Norway, and 32 seconds behind Frenzel. At the finish, Frenzel had preserved his margin over the American veteran and defending world champion, and Lodwick was 28 seconds out of the medals. Demong turned in the second-fastest cross-country race of the day, finishing 49 seconds out of the medals.

The Americans have spent the better part of the week as one of the fastest countries on skis. But their struggles in the jumping portion continue to leave them without a podium finish.

Klemetsen and Lamy-Chappuis put down massive 133.5-meter jumps. Lodwick led the U.S. jumping 123 meters with Demong jumping 117.5 meters.

Demong caught Lodwick, but couldn’t pass him. After Lamy-Chappuis took control of the race, Rydzek and Frenzel battled for the silver and bronze medals.

“It was a day to go hard from the start,” Demong said in a U.S. Ski Team release. “I felt good and skied hard. I think I made up as much as I could today given the conditions.”

Lodwick, who has been battling an illness, said despite being out of the medals, he finally felt healthy.

“I finally feel like I can go out and compete and breathe, and I think today showed it,” Lodwick said. “It’s been an uphill battle. I get healthy then I train. Then I get sick again and have to take time off. But I’m happy to be here at World Championships.”

The Americans have one final chance for a World Championship medal, with the final Nordic combined competition a large hill team event set for Friday.

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