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Ski Jumping at the 1972 Sapporo Winter Games:

Men's Normal Hill, Individual

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Host City: Sapporo, Japan
Venue(s): Miyanomori Jump Hill, Sapporo
Date Started: February 6, 1972
Date Finished: February 6, 1972
Format: Two jumps, with both scored on distance and form.

Gold: JPN Yukio Kasaya
Silver: JPN Akitsugu Konno
Bronze: JPN Seiji Aochi

Summary

The host nation for the 1972 Winter Games, Japan, had only been able to collect one silver medal in earlier Olympic Winter Games, done by Chiharu Igaya in men’s slalom in Cortina 1956. But this time they had great expectations for their excellent ski jumping team. The team was composed of four experienced jumpers, all of whom had shown good form early in the season. The big star was undoubtedly 28-year old Yukio Kasaya. He had taken a silver medal in the Normal Hill at the 1970 World Championships behind double gold medalist Gari Napalkov of Soviet. In the Four Hill’s Tournament at the beginning of the Olympic season, Kasaya had won the first three competitions. After that the Japanese team returned home to Japan to prepare for their home Olympics. Kasaya would probably have won the overall combined tournament easily, instead the Norwegian Ingolf Mork was the overall winner due to Kasaya’s absence in the fourth competition. Also the fact that all jumpers of the Japanese team came from Hokkaido made the local interest for the Normal Hill competition, three days after the opening of the Games, enormous.

After the first round the Japanese audience went wild: The Japanese quartet held the first four positions! Kasaya made a perfect jump of 84.0 m, the longest of the day, but was closely followed by Seiji Aochi, who jumped 83.5 m. In third place was Akitsugu Konno from Sapporo, followed by the fourth Japanese, Takashi Fujisawa, the silver medalist in the Large Hill from the World Championships in Oslo six years earlier. Best of the non-Japanese jumpers was the Swede Rolf Nordgren followed by another surprise man, the 19-year old Pole Wojciech Fortuna.

The Japanese team was under great pressure from the home crowd before the start of the second round. Kasaya kept cool, had the best jump of all in the second round and won by a margin of almost 10 points. Konno made the second best jump of the second round and advanced to silver, and Aochi secured a clean medal sweep for Japan, the first in ski jumping since the Norwegian team made it in 1948. Only Fujisawa could not repeat his first jump, he missed totally and fell down from fourth to 23rd in the final ranking. Mork advanced from 14th after the first round, being the best non-Japanese in fourth place, and defending Olympic Champion Jiří Raška climbed from 13th to a final fifth place. Fortuna kept his sixth place from the first round, and the double World 1970 Champion Napalkov had to be content with a seventh place.

Kasaya and his teammates were celebrated as national heroes, Japan having avenged the disappointing results from their male speed skating sprinters in the 500 m from the day before.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal PTS
1 Yukio Kasaya 28 Japan JPN Gold 244.2
2 Akitsugu Konno 27 Japan JPN Silver 234.8
3 Seiji Aochi 29 Japan JPN Bronze 229.5
4 Ingolf Mork 24 Norway NOR 225.5
5 Jiří Raška 30 Czechoslovakia TCH 224.8
6 Wojciech Fortuna 19 Poland POL 222.0
7T Gary Napalkov 23 Soviet Union URS 220.2
7T Karel Kodejška 24 Czechoslovakia TCH 220.2
9 K'oba Ts'akadze 37 Soviet Union URS 219.9
10 Peter Štefančič 24 Yugoslavia YUG 218.1
11T Zbyněk Hubač 31 Czechoslovakia TCH 217.8
11T Frithjof Prydz, Jr. 28 Norway NOR 217.8
11T Rolf Nordgren 25 Sweden SWE 217.8
14 Walter Steiner 20 Switzerland SUI 217.4
15 Rainer Schmidt 23 East Germany GDR 217.2
16 Ernst von Grünigen 21 Switzerland SUI 212.4
17 Rauno Miettinen 22 Finland FIN 212.0
18T Henry Glaß 18 East Germany GDR 211.8
18T Tauno Käyhkö 21 Finland FIN 211.8
20 Yury Kalinin 19 Soviet Union URS 211.6
21 Anatoly Zheglanov 25 Soviet Union URS 210.0
22 Hans Schmid 23 Switzerland SUI 208.9
23 Takashi Fujisawa 28 Japan JPN 207.8
24 Adam Krzysztofiak 21 Poland POL 207.3
25 Kari Ylianttila 18 Finland FIN 206.6
26 Rudi Wanner 21 Austria AUT 205.0
27 Danilo Pudgar 19 Yugoslavia YUG 204.7
28 Josef Zehnder 27 Switzerland SUI 203.7
29T Rudolf Höhnl 25 Czechoslovakia TCH 201.6
29T Reinhold Bachler 27 Austria AUT 201.6
31 Hans-Georg Aschenbach 20 East Germany GDR 198.5
32 Tadeusz Pawlusiak 25 Poland POL 197.9
33 Nils-Per Skarseth 26 Norway NOR 197.6
34 Jerry Martin 21 United States USA 197.2
35 Drago Pudgar 22 Yugoslavia YUG 197.1
36 Max Golser 31 Austria AUT 195.8
37 Marjan Mesec 24 Yugoslavia YUG 195.4
38 Manfred Wolf 24 East Germany GDR 195.0
39 Stanisław Gąsienica Daniel 20 Poland POL 194.0
40 Zdenek Mezl 23 Canada CAN 192.8
41 Ron Steele 18 United States USA 192.3
42 Anders Lundqvist 20 Sweden SWE 191.8
43 Gilbert Poirot 27 France FRA 188.7
44 Ulf Kvendbo 23 Canada CAN 187.8
45 Esko Rautionaho 21 Finland FIN 187.7
46 Günther Göllner 30 West Germany FRG 185.9
47 Alfred Grosche 22 West Germany FRG 182.8
48 Rick Gulyas 19 Canada CAN 181.3
49 Sepp Schwinghammer 21 West Germany FRG 180.1
50 Greg Swor 20 United States USA 179.4
51 Jo Inge Bjørnebye 25 Norway NOR 174.2
52 Scott Berry 23 United States USA 172.0
53 Alain Macle 27 France FRA 165.9
54 Yvan Richard 21 France FRA 164.3
55 Ezio Damolin 27 Italy ITA 162.7
56 Peter Wilson 19 Canada CAN 149.4