Germany take narrow lead in team event

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:52am EST

Germany's Eric Frenzel soars through the air during the trial round of the large hill ski jumping portion of the Nordic Combined team Gundersen event of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center in Rosa Khutor, February 20, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Germany's Eric Frenzel soars through the air during the trial round of the large hill ski jumping portion of the Nordic Combined team Gundersen event of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center in Rosa Khutor, February 20, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Dalder

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ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Germany could only manage to eke out a narrow lead in the Nordic combined team competition on Thursday after the jumping event, leaving the way open for Norway to take control on the cross-country course.

The four-man German team put in a series of solid jumps from the large hill and will start the 4x5km relay race seven seconds ahead of Austria, who won the event in 2010.

The cross-country race is due to begin at 1100 GMT (6 am ET).

The Norwegians - who took gold and silver in the individual large hill event on Tuesday - will start 25 seconds behind the Germans but will fancy their chances of making up that gap over the cross-country course.

"We have a big chance to win the gold ... the dream can come true but there's a hard race left," Haavard Klemetsen told reporters.

Germany are led by Olympic gold medalist Eric Frenzel, who won the normal hill event last week but is still recovering from a virus he picked up on Saturday.

"At the moment I feel fine ... the whole team feels really well," a pale-looking Frenzel told reporters.

The United States, who won silver four years ago, jumped poorly and are in eighth place, almost two minutes behind the Germans.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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