Nordic roundup: Kasai wins World Cup jump in Park City with Ammann runner-up

Nordic roundup: Kasai wins World Cup jump in Park City with Ammann runner-up{mosimage}USSA — Noriaki Kasai of Japan won the Visa International World Cup K120 ski jumping meet Saturday in light snow and overcast conditions while Olympic double-gold medalist Simon Ammann of Switzerland returned to the scene of his Olympic glories and finished second.

Clint Jones was 45th in the first two jumping meets at Utah Olympic Park.

Kasai — at 31 years, eight months — became the oldest ski jumper to win a World Cup. He went 120.5 and 122.5 meters for 235.9 points for a one-point victory over Ammann, who won both individual events at the 2002 Winter Games. The Swiss went 118 and 125 meters — the second-longest jump of the day — to finish at 234.9 with Norwegian Tommy Ingebrigtsen third. World Cup leader Janne Ahonen of Finland finished 14th.

NBC will broadcast coverage of the Visa competition next Saturday, March 6, at 2 p.m. ET.

Officials had been concerned about the competition — the jumpers’ first visit to Utah Olympic Park since the Olympics two years ago — but a storm predicted to hit the Wasatch, following one that left more than a foot of snow, never arrived. Light snow presented little problem for the athletes.

Ski Jumping World Cup
Visa International Festival of Flight
Utah Olympic Park
Park City, Utah, February 28, 2004

(Jump distances in meters)
1. Noriaki Kasai, Japan, (120.5-122.5) 235.9 points
2. Simon Ammann, Switzerland, (118-125) 234.9
3. Tommy Ingebrigtsen, Norway, (119-124) 233.9
4. Roar Ljoekelsoey, Norway, (112.5-127.5) 228.0
5. Rok Benkovic, Slovenia, (117-118.5) 220.9
45. Clint Jones, Steamboat Springs, Colo., (97.5) 68.5

Russian, German win in World Cup events at Oslo

Julia Tchepalova of Russia won the women’s 30km freestyle race Saturday at Holmenkollen by a minute over Italy’s Sabina Valbusa with American Rebecca Dussault 34th.

In the men’s 50km FR, World Cup leader Rene Sommerfeldt of Germany defeated Fulvio Valbusa by 56 seconds. Top U.S. result came from Vermonter Andrew Johnson, who was 41st in the field of 78.

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