Saturday, January 11, 2014
Noriaki Kasai, 41, is oldest winner
TAUPLITZ, Austria -- Noriaki Kasai of Japan became the oldest winner of a ski jump World Cup competition at the age of 41 after upsetting the favorites in a ski flying event on Saturday.
Kasai had jumps of 196.0 and 197.0 meters and earned 391.6 points for his 16th career victory but first in almost 10 years. His last win came in Park City, Utah, on Feb. 28, 2004.
"I trust in myself and I have self-belief. It's been a long time since I won so I am very happy," said Kasai, who last month earned his first podium finish in almost four years when he came third in Titisee-Neustadt, Germany.
Peter Prevc of Slovenia had 381.5 points in second place, and defending overall World Cup champion Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria was third with 380.3.
"I have utmost respect for Noriaki," Schlierenzauer said. "It shows that, when your technique is good, you can jump with the best even if you're older."
Kamil Stoch of Poland finished sixth with 354.2 points to defend his lead in the overall standings. Stoch has 598 points, 40 clear of Simon Ammann of Swizterland. Schlierenzauer is third with 536 and Kasai climbed to fourth with 486.
The event was overshadowed by Thomas Morgenstern's crash during training Friday. The Austrian was hospitalized with skull and lung injuries but was in stable condition in a Salzburg hospital Saturday.
Another ski flying event on the Kulm hill is scheduled for Sunday.