Ski Jumping legend Noriaki Kasai will start his 31st season in the World Cup about two weeks from now in Wisla. An unbelievable number - most of the athletes he will compete against, were not even born when he made his first appearance in the World Cup.
As the Japanese Ski Association announced, the 47-year-old veteran was named to the team for the first World Cup events of the 2019/20 season in Wisla (POL), Ruka (FIN), Nizhny Tagil (RUS) and Klingenthal (GER) alongside last winter's overall World Cup champion Ryoyu Kobayashi and his older brother Junshiro, Yukiya Sato, Daiki Ito and Naoki Nakamura.
In the final World Cup before Christmas in Engelberg (SUI), Japan will be represented by Taku Takeuchi, Shohei Tochimoto, Yuken Iwasa, Kenshiro It, and Keiichi Sato. In the first few weeks of the season, these athletes will participate in the Continental Cup.
After the strong performances of the Japanese jumpers this summer, many fans were already afraid that it might be difficult for the crowd favorite to earn himself a spot on the team almost 31 years after his World Cup debut in December 1988 in Sapporo.
In this year's FIS Grand Prix, a total of four Japanese athletes finished in the Top 7 of the overall ranking. Kasai was only taking part in the event in Hakuba where he finished only 41st. In the final COC of the summer season in Klingenthal, he came in 28th and 15th.
The results of Noriaki Kasai