• Kyodo


Japanese ski jumper Kazuyoshi Funaki, aided by a little luck, ended a six-year victory drought on the World Cup circuit Saturday at a Sapporo meet.

Funaki, mired in a lengthy slump after his gold-medal performance at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, topped the field with 144.

0 points after the first round of jumps at the Okurayama hill and the result became the final one as the second round was canceled due to inclement weather.

Funaki’s 135-meter leap under the floodlights at the K-120 hill and his better style points gave him a 0.1-point edge over runnerup Thomas Morgenstern of Austria, who nailed the day’s longest jump of 135.5 meters.

Roar Ljoekelsoey of Norway took third with 139.1 points after traveling 132 meters.

Funaki also rode the luck of a jury decision allowing him and two other jumpers to re-take their jumps after snow piled up on the running slope, slowing down their speeds before taking off.

He landed at the 82-meter point on his initial attempt.

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