PLANICA, SLOVENIA – Noriaki Kasai missed the final podium of the World Cup season by 1.2 points on Sunday.
In the 29th and final event of the season, the 43-year-old Kasai leapt 227 and 231.5 meters to score 404.2 points at the K-200, 225 hill, but could not quite catch Norwegian Johann Andre Forfang’s 405.4 for third place.
Slovene Peter Prevc claimed a record 15th win of the season with 435.0 points on home soil and compatriot Robert Kranjec was runnerup with 420.4.
Prevc won his first overall title with 2,303 points, followed by Severin Freund of Germany (1,490) and Norwegian Kenneth Gangnes (1,348). Kasai, who finished third five times this season, was eighth overall with 909.
The veteran, who was competing in his 502nd World Cup event, did not hide his feelings in missing out on a top-three spot by such a tiny margin.
“I’m disappointed with the way the season ended. I thought I could definitely get to the podium today,” Kasai said. “I felt I put in a good fight, but those around me were strong as expected.
“I thought I could have gone a little further with my second but it was a fantastic season, I could reach podiums, too.”
“Things like this will motivate you not to lose the next one. I’ll keep striving aiming for the 600th event.”