Peter Prevc and Jernej Damjan took a double victory
for Slovenia in Sapporo. The third place went to
local hero Noriaki Kasai. Prevc, for whom it was
the second win in the World Cup, scored a total
of 294.6 points with his jumps on 137 m and 134.5
m and had a lead of 17.6 points over his teammate.
First podium result for Damjan since 2008
With jumps on 135.5 m and 129 m, Jernej Damjan achieved
his first podium result since February 2008. Noriaki
Kasai jumped on 132.5 m an 129 m. With 272.1 points
he came in 5.2 points ahead of the third Slovene
among the best four, Robert Kranjec. The ski flying
World Champion was fourth and achieved his best
result this season with 128 m and 132.5 m. Daiki
Ito, who jumped on 127.5 m in both rounds, was fifth,
0.7 points ahead of Andreas Kofler in sixth. For
the Austrian, this was the best result since December
Career-best for Dezman
Nejc Dezman, who made his debut in the World Cup
last year in Sapporo, came in on a career best seventh
place. With 255.6 points, the 21-year-old Slovene
finished 1.3 points ahead of Jan Matura, Markus
Eisenbichler and Michael Neumayer, who all shared
the eighth place. Last year Matura won both competitions
in Sapporo. While Michael Neumayer achieved his
best result this season, the eighth place was a
career best in the World Cup for his young teammate.
This also applies for Ronan Lamy Chappuis, who missed
his first ever Top 10 result by only 0.7 points.
Koch and Loitzl not in the final
Not all the athletes could take advantage of the
fact that many top jumpers did not take the trip
to Sapporo. Karl Geiger, fourth after the first
round, was 13th. Manuel Fettner, gold medalist in
the team competition at the World Championships
a year ago, was 14th. It went even worse for his
teammates Wolfgang Loitzl and Martin Koch, who could
not qualify for the final round. After his surprising
fifth place in Zakopane, Mikhail Maksimochkin could
score World Cup points again in 19th. Robert Johansson
was the only Norwegian in the final round in 20th.
Roberto Dellasega, eighth after the first round,
finished 25th, Finland's Sami Heiskanen was 26th
and scored World Cup points for the first time.
The second competition in Sapporo will take place
on Sunday at 2:00 am CET.
Statements about competition
Peter Prevc (SLO):
"It was a nice competition, the wind didn't
change much and that's special here in Sapporo.
I made really good jumps, maybe the second one was
even better than the first. I'm really satisfied
today. I know that many think I'm now a favorite
for Sochi and that puts more pressure on me. I have
to use this pressure in my favor and be more focused
on my jumping and more motivated in training. Wearing
the yellow bib was one of my childhood dreams and
it's a confirmation of the good work, not only for
me but also for the coaches."
Jernej Damjan (SLO):
"It was a really nice competition, I'm really,
really happy that I could do two good jumps and
even more happy about the result. Japan is a really
good place for me, I also won my first COC competition
here a long time ago. I like Japan, I always like
coming here. It's great. The next competition here
will be really soon, early in the morning. I hope
that the winds will be as it was today and we will
have one more nice competition. To be among the
favorites for the Olympics you need a lot of luck
and a lot of good jumps, everything can change really
fast in ski jumping."
Noriaki Kasai (JPN):
"I'm not satisfied with my jumps and the result.
I made a mistake and was late at the take off in
both rounds. It gives me confidence that I was on
the podium despite this mistake. The wind was not
stable, but I don't care. I hope that I will have
a better timing tomorrow and hopefully then I can