• Kyodo


Noriaki Kasai was seventh in his 501st World Cup event in his penultimate outing of the season Friday.

Kasai had his back to the wind and uncharacteristically wavered in his first attempt, settling for 216.5 meters. But he adjusted well for the second to leap 224 meters for a total of 415.5 points at the K-200, 225-meter hill.

Slovene Robert Kranjec claimed his second win of the season on home soil with 447.6 points, followed by compatriot Peter Prevc with 440.5.

“Both jumps weren’t bad. It’s all down to getting good winds and that’s luck,” Kasai said. “I felt being pushed down around above the K point (on the first attempt), and could have gone a bit further but for that.”

Planica’s flying hill holds special meaning for the 43-year-old. He was third in the overall standings heading into the 1992-1993 World Cup’s final event on the hill, with the title still within his reach, but crumbled.

“I bowed to pressure (that time) with my second jump, failed, and finished 27th. That was the most frustrating event of my career, but I still feel I want to go back there.”

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