Japan's Watabe wins Nordic combined event

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LIBEREC, Czech Republic (AP) -- Akito Watabe of Japan skied a strong cross-country race to win a World Cup Nordic combined event Sunday, cutting the overall lead of Jason Lamy Chappuis of France. Bryan Fletcher of the U.S. was a career-best fourth.

Watabe was fourth after the ski jumping with a leap of 98 meters in fog and wind. He erased a 20-second deficit to Austria's Christoph Bieler a third of the way through the 10-kilometer cross country. He then pulled away to win in 26 minutes, 17.2 seconds for his third victory of the season.

Lamy Chappuis was 18.2 seconds behind and leads overall with 1,253 points. Watabe is second at 1,070 with three races left. Austria's Mario Stecher was third, 27.1 back.