KUPIO, FINLAND – Japan placed third behind Norway and Germany in the World Cup men’s team ski jumping competition on Monday.
The team of Taku Takeuchi, Kento Sakuyama, Daiki Ito and Noriaki Kasai collected a combined total of 935.4 points for their efforts on the 127-meter hill for their second third-place finish following a bronze-medal performance at the Feb. 6 meet.
Japan was fifth after the first round of jumps with two jumps per skier, but Takeuchi had the best jump of 132.5 meters among all first jumpers in the second round, and Kasai followed with an impressive 125-meter leap to improve to third.
“It’s important that we work as one. I think we’re a pretty good team,” said the 28-year-old Takeuchi, who finished on the podium for the first time in two seasons the previous day in the individual event.
The 43-year-old Kasai said he wants to motivate younger skiers with podium finishes so they will want to become team jumping members.
“I hate to finish fourth or fifth so I jumped thinking I would not give up,” said Kasai.