Kasai can be first non-European to reach
50 individual WC podiums
Noriaki Kasai's third place finish in Falun on Wednesday
was his 49th individual World Cup podium. In this
weekend's individual events on Friday or Sunday,
he can reach 50 World Cup podiums.
Kasai can become the 12th man, and the first non-European,
to reach 50 World Cup podiums.
The 11 men to have already achieved 50 individual
World Cup podiums all come from one of five countries:
Austria (5), Finland (2), Germany (2), Poland (1)
and Switzerland (1).
Kasai would be the fifth active jumper to reach
50 after Janne Ahonen (FIN, 108), Gregor Schlierenzauer
(AUT, 85), Thomas Morgenstern (AUT, 76) and Simon
Ammann (SUI, 73).
If Kasai makes the podium on Friday, his 50th podium
will come exactly 22 years to the day after his
first, and at the same venue. On 28 February 1992,
19-year-old Kasai came third on the normal hill
in Lahti, behind Toni Nieminen (FIN) and Ernst Vettori
Among his current rivals, Peter Prevc (SLO) and
Andreas Wellinger (GER) were not born when Kasai
made his first World Cup podium, while Thomas Diethart
(AUT) was only three days old.
If Kasai is on the podium on both Friday and Sunday,
he will equal Andreas Felder (AUT) in 11th place
on the all-time list with 51 individual World Cup
Kasai owns almost one quarter of all Japanese individual
World Cup podiums in men's ski jumping: 49 out of
Kasai has made five individual World Cup podiums
this season. If he makes his sixth in Lahti, this
season will equal 1992/93 as his second best World
Cup season in terms of most podiums. His best season
was 1998/99, when he made 14 podiums.
Finns look for first Lahti podium in eight
The last Finnish jumper to be on a World Cup podium
on home snow in Lahti was Janne Happonen, who won
there in 2006.
Since then, the best Finnish result in Lahti has
been fourth, by Harri Olli in 2009 and Anssi Koivuranta
in 2012 – both on the normal hill.
Of the three Finnish jumpers who participated in
Falun, Ahonen and Koivuranta both missed qualifying
for the final round, while Lauri Asikainen finished
ninth for his best ever World Cup result. His previous
best was 16th.
In the last four team events in Lahti, Finland has
finished eighth three times and sixth once. Their
last team win in Lahti came in 2002.
Prevc back on top of World Cup standings
With his second-place finish in Falun, Prevc overtook
Kamil Stoch (POL) to reassume the No. 1 spot in
the World Cup standings by 17 points with three
weeks remaining in the season.
Prevc can become the second man representing Slovenia
to win the World Cup overall title after Primoz
Peterka (SLO), who won in 1996/97 and 1997/98.
Those two titles for Peterka are the only time a
jumper representing Slovenia has finished in the
top three in the men's World Cup standings, something
Prevc seems almost assured to do this season.
Stoch can become the second Polish man to win the
overall World Cup title after Adam Malysz, who won
it four times (2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03 and 2006/07).
Kasai sits in third place in the standings, 182
points behind Prevc. No Japanese man has ever won
the overall World Cup title, but Kasai has a long
way to go to catch Prevc and Stoch.
Kasai was third in the standings in both 1992/93
and 1998/99. If he is third again this season, he
will be the third man to finish third three or more
times after Ahonen and Felder, who both did it four
Schlierenzauer has dropped to fifth in the World
Cup standings after Falun. He has never finished
lower than fourth in the standings in a full season
in his career (he came ninth in 2010/11 but missed
the early part of the season through injury).
Slovenia go for fourth straight WC team
Although they did not win a medal in Sochi, Slovenia
have won three consecutive World Cup team events
since March 2013.
If Slovenia win again on Saturday, it will be only
the second time in World Cup history that one country
has won four or more consecutive team events.
The only previous occasion was when Austria won
six in a row from November 2010 to November 2011.
Before their current streak began, Slovenia had
only ever won three World Cup team events.
Slovenia and Olympic champion Germany will battle
for fourth place on the all-time team victory list.
They have both won six World Cup team events, behind
only Austria (25), Finland (15) and Norway (12).