Peter Prevc took a clear win in Sapporo
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 2012.
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 win."