Okabe claims Sapporo Olympic Memorial title


Veteran Japanese ski jumper Takanobu Okabe won the annual Sapporo Olympic Memorial international meet Friday for the first time in eight years and second overall.

Okabe, 35, made jumps of 100.5 and 100 meters on the K-90 hill at Miyanomori Schanze in Sapporo for 265.0 points, beating Norway’s Anders Bardal by 1.5 points. Bardal had jumps of 93 meters and the day’s longest of 102.5 meters.

Manuel Fettner of Austria came third with 257.0 points, followed in fourth by Kenshiro Ito, 16, who has made Japan’s national team for the Turin Winter Olympics, with 256.5 points.

Crowd favorite Masahiko Harada, 37, missed the cut, going just 81.5 meters on his first jump. The Hokkaido native has been selected to compete in his fifth straight Winter Olympics.