PLANICA, SLOVENIA – Evergreen Noriaki Kasai rewrote his own record as the oldest jumper to finish on a World Cup medal podium on Sunday, placing third in the season’s final event at the age of 44 years and nine months.
The Japanese jumper leaped 239.0 meters to score 223.9 points before earning a medal with the second round of jumps being called off due to strong winds. Stefan Kraft of Austria won the event on 244.3 points after his 250-meter attempt, followed by Andreas Wellinger of Germany who reached 238.5 meters for 236.2 points.
Kraft, whose victory was his eighth of the season and the 12th of his career, claimed his first overall World Cup title after racking up 1,665 points.
It was the 63rd career podium finish for Kasai, who broke the record he set the previous Sunday in Norway where he was second.
“There’s something about me in getting to the podium in the final event,” said Kasai, who ranked a Japan-high 15th in the overall standings on 401 points. “I’ve been in bad shape since the start of the season so I’m surprised by how well I’ve bounced back.
“This is the best manner in which to finish, something I can build on for the next one. I have to aim for the gold medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics.”
Poland’s Kamil Stoch was second in the overall standings on 1,524 points, and Norway’s Daniel-Andre Tande third on 1,201.