Peter Prevc won the qualification for the first of two individual competitions at the World Cup in Sapporo with an oustanding jump of 138 m and a total of 142.1 points.
The 24-year-old Slovene was the only athlete, who could land beyond the 130 m mark in this round. He jumped ten meters longer than Vincent Descombes Sevoie of France, who was second in the qualification with 128 m and 130.4 points. The third place went to Jan Ziobro of Poland with his jump of 126.5 m and 127.5 points.
Russia's Evgeniy Klimov jumped on the same distance as Ziobro, but due to a bit better wind conditions he came in behind the Pole in fourth. He was followed by Dawid Kubacki (POL), Richard Freitag of Germany and local hero Noriaki Kasai on the places five to seven. The two Slovenes Anze Semenic (8th) and Anze Lanisek (9th) and Andreas Stjernen of Norway (10th) came in among the Top 10 as well.
Behind Markus Schiffner, the best Austrian in the qualificaiton, Simon Ammann finished 12th. The Swiss returns to the World Cup here in Sapporo after a short break. Two weeks ago he stood on the podium twice in the Continental Cup competitions in Bischofshofen.
Taku Takeuchi of Japan was 13th, Ville Larinto achieved a good result for Finland in 14th. His teammate Jarkko Maeaettae, on the other hand, closely missed the qualify for Saturday's competition. Vojtech Stursa, Philipp Aschenwald, Pius Paschke, Kilian Peier and Tomas Vancura are also among those athletes, who have to wait for their second chance on Sunday.
It was a successful day for the hosts. Besides the veterans Noriaki Kasai, Taku Takeuchi and Daiki Ito, also Ryoyu Kobayashi and Masamitsu Ito, Yuken Iwasa, Yukiya Sato, Junshiro Kobayashi and Naoki Nakamura of the national group made the cut for the first competition of this weekend.
The best jumps of the already pre-qualified athletes were shown by the two Poles Kamil Stoch and Maciej Kot with 129 m and 127 m.
The competition on Saturday will start at 8:30 am CET.