Noriaki Kasai just wrote a beautiful story. Breakthrough of the Poles in Sapporo

Noriaki Kasai just wrote a beautiful story.  Breakthrough of the Poles in Sapporo

On Saturday morning Polish time, a ski jumping competition took place in Sapporo, Japan. The hero was Noriaki Kasai. The 51-year-old Japanese managed to score.

For the Japanese, getting through Friday's qualifications was a chance to compete for World Cup points after a break of 1,476 days. On Saturday, the Japanese ski jumper took part in the cup competition for the 570th time in his career.

Solid form of the Poles, disappointing Piotr Żyła

Polish jumpers have fond memories of the competition in Sapporo. Adam Małysz triumphed on the Miyanomori normal hill in the World Cup competition in 1997. The Eagle from Wisła also won at Okurayama, twice in the 2000/01 season. Maciej Kot and Stoch also won at the large facility in Sapporo, both day after day in 2017. Additionally, Stoch is the facility's record holder with a height of 148.5 meters in 2019.

Tradition has become too much. Kamil Stoch, Dawid Kubacki and Aleksander Zniszczoł made it to the second competition series. The last Pole mentioned above finished in the top ten, in ninth position at the halfway point. Piotr Żyła had a surprising history, jumping 138 meters in the trial series (just before the competition) – in great style. However, in the competition, “Wiewiór” reached only 107 meters, which was a terrible jump. Klemens Murańka (113 meters) also did not make it to the second series.

The highlight of the competition was the fact that Kasai made it to the final series. The Japanese jumped 117 meters, which was enough to score points, ultimately placing him in 30th place. On Saturday, Kasai became the record holder, the oldest jumper in the history of the World Cup who took part in the competition and scored additional points. On February 17, 2024, the Japanese was exactly 51 years, 8 months and 11 days old. Let us add that Kasai made his World Cup debut in… 1988.

In the final series, Stoch and Kubacki showed solid jumps, but Zniszczoł ruined his attempt. Kubacki jumped 128 meters, the three-time Olympic champion was half a meter better. We would like to see such jumps by Poles as often as possible. Ultimately, Kubacki finished the competition in eighth place, and Stoch 12th. Zniszczoł finished as player number 25 in Sapporo.

Let us add that Stefan Kraft won. The Austrian was slightly better than Ryoyu Kobayashi. For Kraft, it was the 39th victory in the history of the World Cup, which made him equal in the all-time ranking with Adam Małysz and… Kamil Stoch.

World Cup in Sapporo. Where and when to watch the ski jumping competition?

One more individual competition is planned on the Okurayama hill. On Sunday (i.e. February 18), the qualifications will take place at 1:30 a.m. Polish time (broadcast on Eurosport and Eurosport Extra on Player). However, the first competition series will start at 3:30. It will be available on Eurosport 1, on open TVN and on Eurosport Extra in the previously mentioned Player.

Additionally, Eurosport channels are available, among others: on the Polsat Box Go platform.

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