Local hero Antti Aalto surprisingly won the qualification for the individual competition on the large hill at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti (FIN).
The 21-year-old had the longest jump on Wednesday evening with 128.5 m and secured the first place with his total of 123.4 points. Andreas Stjernen of Norway came in second with 125 m and 121.8 points. The third place went to Daiki Ito of Japan, who scored 116.3 points with his jump on 121.5 m.
Newly crowned Junior World Champion Viktor Polasek of the Czech Republic showed a convincing performance in fourth with 119.5 m, Swiss Simon Ammann can also be more than satisfied with his fifth place. The four-time Olympic Champion posted a jump of 124.5 m, but due to the lower judges' marks he came in behind the Top 3 today.
Very good performance of the Finnish team
Jarkko Maeaettae and Ville Larinto in sixth and seventh made it a very successful day for the hosting team of Finland. Janne Ahonen also had no problems to qualify in 16th and so Finland will be represented by a complete team of four in the competition tomorrow.
With Tomas Vancura in eighth a second young Czech jumper made the Top 10, that were completed by Noriaki Kasai and Dawid Kubacki, who tied for ninth.
Success for Swiss and Americans
It was a very good qualification day for the teams of Switzerland and the USA, who will also have all four of their athletes competing on Thursday evening. Besides Simon Ammann, also Kilian Peier could achieve a good result for Switzerland today in 13th, best US American athlete was Michael Glasder on a good 14th place.
The two Estonians Kaarel Nurmsalu and Martti Nomme also qualified for the competition, Czech Roman Koudelka, on the other hand, landed already at 98 m and failed to make the cut.
Best jumper of the already pre-qualified athletes was Peter Prevc with 127.5 m. The Slovene already ahd the longest jump in today's trial round with 125.5 m and is definitely in the shape to fight for a medal. Besides Peter Prevc, Manuel Fettner and Piotr Zyla, both with 121.5 m, were the only other athletes of this top group to jump over the 120 m mark.