VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Veteran ski jumper Takanobu Okabe on Thursday failed to win a spot in the normal hill competition at the Vancouver Olympics, while Noriaki Kasai and three others are set to compete.
The 37-year-old Kasai, Daiki Ito, Shohei Tochimoto and Taku Takeuchi prepare themselves for the normal hill event, which gets under way Friday morning with the preliminaries ahead of the opening ceremony.
The normal hill final is scheduled for Saturday, with the top 40 of 51 ski jumpers advancing past the preliminary round.
Official practice on Thursday was hampered by bad weather after snow turned into rain.
The 39-year-old Okabe, who was also in poor form the previous day, had leaps of 84.5 meters, 82.5 meters and 71 meters.
Kasai nailed a leap of 103 meters on his second attempt, and Ito soared over 100 meters twice. Takeuchi had a 100-meter jump on his first run while Tochimoto’s best effort was 94.5 meters.
World Cup rankings leader Simon Ammann of Switzerland has received a bye into the final round as one of the top 10 jumpers on the circuit, as has 19-year-old Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria, who has won eighth World Cup meets this season.