TITISEE-NEUSTADT, GERMANY – Forty-one-year-old Noriaki Kasai became the oldest ski jumper to finish in the top three at a World Cup event on Sunday.
It was Kasai’s 45th career podium finish in an individual event and his first since he was second in Sapporo in January 2010. He has reached the podium in team events twice since then.
Kasai was second after his initial jump of 139.5 meters, but fell to third after his 137.5-meter second jump and finished with 292.0 points, 0.9 points behind runnerup Simon Ammann of Switzerland. Kamil Stoch of Poland was the winner with 300.7 points.
“Considering I had the wind at my back, I jumped well,” said Kasai, who was world champion in 1992 and won team silver at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.
“I’m so happy to finish third in an event filled with the best in the world.”
Japan’s Taku Takeuchi was sixth, while compatriot Daiki Ito was seventh. Reruhi Shimizu was 22nd, while Yuta Watase failed to qualify for the second jump and finished 35th out of 50 competitors.
Previously, the oldest podium finish belonged to Japan’s Takanobu Okabe, who medaled in March 2009 at the age of 38 years, four months, according to the International Ski Federation.