• Kyodo

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Japan’s Noriaki Kasai repeated his large hill performance and captured the bronze medal in the individual normal hill ski jumping competition at the Nordic World Championships on Friday.

Competing on the K-95 jumping hill, Kasai managed only 99 meters in his first jump to place seventh but leaped 104 meters in his second jump for a two-jump total of 259.5 and a third-place finish.

Poland’s Adam Malysz and Norway’s Tommy Ingebrigtsen won the gold and silver medals, respectively, while Kasai’s compatriot Hideharu Miyahira finished a shade behind him at fourth.

Malysz, who also won the World Cup in 2001 and 2002, had surprisingly failed to win any events before these worlds, finishing only third in the famous Four Hills competition.

He clearly saved the best for when it mattered most. “These are the luckiest hills I’ve ever jumped on,” said Malysz, who won the K-120 title last week.

Miyahira combined two jumps of 101 meters for a total of 259.0 points.

Ikuta battles back

NAGANO (Kyodo) Yasuhiro Ikuta battled back to outpace defending champion Tetsuya Otaki on Saturday, winning the giant slalom for his first victory on the opening day of the Alpine skiing national championships for technical events.

Ikuta, who was 0.09 second off the pace of Daisuke Yoshioka after his first run of 56.20 seconds, took the lead with a top time of 56.73 on his second try on the piste at the Nozawa Onsen ski resort in Nagano Prefecture.

Ikuta finished with a total of 1:52.93, 0.82 second ahead of Otaki with 1:53.75. Shinichi Sekizuka was third in 1:54.30.

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