The World Cup weekend in Japan started with the
qualification on the Okurayama hill in Sapporo on
Friday. The best in this round was Andreas Kofler,
followed by Tomaz Naglic and Danny Queck.
The 29-year-old Austrian won the qualification with
a jump on 130.5 m and 130.0 points. "I enjoy
being here in Japan and it's always something special
for me to be in Sapporo. This weekend is important
for me and that's why I'm very happy about this
jump in the qualification", Kofler, who is
still fighting for his spot on the Olympic team,
said to FISskijumping.com.
Tomaz Naglic also jumped on 130.5 m and took the
second place with 125.9 points, ahead of Danny Queck
of Germany who scored 125.1 points with his jump
on 126 m.
The longest jump of the qualification was shown
by Norwegian Robert Johansson with 131 m, but due
to better wind conditions the 23-year-old was only
fifth, behind Antonin Hajek of the Czech Republic.
Gregor Deschwaden of Switzerland was sixth, followed
by the best of the Japanese, Reruhi Shimizu, who
shared the seventh place with Slovenia's Jernej
Damjan. Yuta Watase of Japan and young French Ronan
Lamy Chappuis completed the Top 10 on Friday.
Nejc Dezman of Slovenia and Germany's Markus Eisenbichler,
who both won two COC competitions in Sapporo last
weekend, had no problems to qualify for Saturday's
competition in 11th and 12th.
Also Nico Polychronidis of Greece (30th), Estonian
Siim-Tanel Sammelselg (32nd) and Sorin Iulian Pitea
of Romania (34th) made the cut for the competition.
In absence of some of the top jumpers, like Kamil
Stoch, Gregor Schlierenzauer, Anders Bardal and
Simon Ammann, Michael Neumayer of Germany (122.5
m) and Slovenia's Robert Kranjec (121.5 m) showed
the longest jumps of the pre-qualified athletes.
The first of two indivdiual competitions in Sapporo
will take place on Saturday at 8:30 pm CET (trial
round: 7:30 am CET).