FILE UNDER -- Nordic

Slovenian Kranjec wins night jumping; American Alborn 29th

Slovenian Kranjec wins night jumping; American Alborn 29th{mosimage}KUUSAMO, Finland – Slovenian Robert Kranjec had a monster jump of 144.5 meters Saturday night and used that as a springboard to win the second World Cup big hill jumping meet of the day and the season. American Alan Alborn, returning from knee surgery last spring and the only American competing, was 29th.

Earlier in the day, in a meet that was postponed from Friday night because of heavy snow and rain, Czech Jakub Janda won the opening World Cup event on the HS142 hill in a competition held to one round by agreement of the coaches. Alborn was 45th in that competition; Clint Jones and Tommy Schwall (both Steamboat Springs, Colorado) failed to qualify for either event.

‘This is a good start for us, Alan coming back with an outstanding jump in the first round and some points to open the year’ said U.S. head coach Corby Fisher. ‘His first jump [121 meters] was really good and then he wasn’t as explosive on his second jump, but he knows what he’s got to be doing.

‘We haven’t had much jumping on snow, and Tommy and Clint are really testing new skis, so we figured it could happen that they wouldn’t qualify. They’re close but now they know how they have to pick it up.’

The next World Cup events are scheduled for Trondheim, which has had almost no snow this fall. Fisher said organizers assured team coaches Saturday morning that dropping temperatures meant they would be able to make more snow. Fisher said the three U.S. jumpers would train in Kuusamo for the next few days. ‘We want to get as much on-snow jumping as we can’ he said, before the group heads to Trondheim at midweek.

– Courtesy USSA News Bureau

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