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Veteran Okabe wins at World Cup

KUOPIO, Finland (Kyodo) Veteran ski jumper Takanobu Okabe nailed a pair of solid jumps Tuesday to win a World Cup event in Kuopio, Finland.

Okabe, the oldest jumper to win the World Cup title at 38 years and four months, made a leap of 123.5 meters in the first round and added a 123-meter effort on the K-120 hill for a total of 241.7 points.

He came in ahead of 2007 world champion Simon Ammann of Switzerland, who finished second with 240.4 points in the season’s 23rd individual meet.

Okabe last enjoyed a World Cup victory in March 1998. He became the second Japanese jumper to claim victory on the world’s top-tier circuit this season following Fumihisa Yumoto, who won an event in Italy in December.

“I never thought I could win,” Okabe said. “But as I was in good shape, I thought I could earn at least a single-digit finish. I was lucky given the tough (weather) conditions.”