Noriaki Kasai does not want to end his long career as a ski jumper. The Japanese appeared on the starting list of the Continental Cup competition in Sapporo.
Noriaki Kasai is a living ski jumping legend. The Japanese veteran still does not intend to give up and jumps in local competitions. And that’s not all. He can still impress with his long flights and defeat much younger competitors. Suffice it to mention that in October, during the UHB Cup, he jumped over Okurayama in Sapporo, reaching 144.5 meters.
Kasai returns to international competition
During the mentioned local competition in Japan, Kasai took fourth place. Then he was only 0.1 point behind third-placed Naoki Nakamura. The second was Ren Nikaido, and the winner was the biggest star of Asian ski jumping – Ryoyu Kobayashi.
Now Kasai appeared on the starting list of the Continental Cup in Sapporo. This means the 51-year-old’s return to an international event. The last time he appeared to a wider audience was last season, when he unexpectedly took part in the qualifications for World Cup competitions twice. In both cases, he failed to gain entry to the competition.
37 players are scheduled to take part in the weekend Continental Cup competitions, including two Polish representatives – Klemens Joniak and Jan Habdas. There will be three competitions at Okurayama – one on Saturday and two on Sunday.
Kasai’s numbers speak for themselves
The Japanese has not only numerous successes under his belt, but above all many years of competition at the highest level. He is the oldest player in history to win the World Cup competition. He was then 42 years and 176 days old. During the series, he made as many as 502 individual appearances and 57 in the team.
Additionally, Kasai is a three-time Olympic medalist and a seven-time world championship medalist. He stood on the podium of the general classification of the World Cup twice, and one of his first great successes was the triumph in the World Ski Flying Championships. We especially remember his rivalry with Kamil Stoch during the games in Sochi (2014). Then our athlete overtook the Japanese by 1.3 points in the large hill competition.