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Ski Jumping at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games:

Men's Normal Hill, Individual

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Host City: Nagano, Japan
Venue(s): Hakuba Ski Jumping Stadium, Hakuba
Date Started: February 11, 1998
Date Finished: February 11, 1998
Format: Two jumps, with both scored on distance and form. Only the top 30 jumpers (and ties) from the first jump advance to the second jump.

Gold: FIN Jani Soininen
Silver: JPN Kazuyoshi Funaki
Bronze: AUT Andreas Widhölzl

Summary

Expectations of a home victory where high as the Olympic Games visited Japan for a second time and the knowledge that the greatest moment in Japanese winter sports history came in this very event in Sapporo, when the Japanese jumpers swept the medals, meant that eyes of the host nation were firmly fixed on this competition and the nation’s quartet of world class jumpers. Masahiko Harada, the world champion on the large hill, was joined by 1998 Four hills champion Kazuyoshi Funaki and Hiroya Saito, who had produced an impressive run of form in the early part of 1998. Standing between Japan and the ultimate prize were a host of strong European challengers. World Cup winner Primož Peterka hoped to win a first winter medal for Slovenia, World Champion Janne Ahonen flew the flag for Finland and spearheaded by Dieter Thoma, the German team were once again strong.

At the halfway point in the competition the Japanese dream appeared to be coming true.

Harada, with a leap of 91.5 m, held the lead and his three teammates all placed within the top seven. The foreign threat came from the fast improving Austrian Andreas Widhölzl and Jani Soininen, a Finn with a reputation for producing wildly varying distances within the same competition.

Kazuyoshi Funaki overtook Widhölzl with his second round and led with only the two first round leaders to jump. Soininen’s leap, though not as far as Funaki’s, was enough to put him a point of Funaki but this left a clear opportunity for Harada to clinch the title. Needing a jump of around 88 m to win, Harada fell short and posted just 84.5 m sending him down from 1st to 5th and, for the second successive Games, the image of a distraught Harada was flashed around the World.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal PTS
1 Jani Soininen 25 Finland FIN Gold 234.5
2 Kazuyoshi Funaki 22 Japan JPN Silver 233.5
3 Andreas Widhölzl 21 Austria AUT Bronze 232.5
4 Janne Ahonen 20 Finland FIN 231.5
5 Masahiko Harada 29 Japan JPN 228.5
6 Primož Peterka 18 Slovenia SLO 223.0
7 Noriaki Kasai 25 Japan JPN 221.5
8 Kristian Brenden 21 Norway NOR 215.5
9 Hiroya Saito 27 Japan JPN 213.5
10 Stefan Horngacher 28 Austria AUT 212.5
11T Michal Doležal 19 Czech Republic CZE 211.0
11T Reinhard Schwarzenberger 21 Austria AUT 211.0
13 Dieter Thoma 28 Germany GER 208.5
14 Sven Hannawald 23 Germany GER 207.5
15 Ari-Pekka Nikkola 28 Finland FIN 205.5
16 Nicolas Dessum 20 France FRA 202.0
17 Hansjörg Jäkle 26 Germany GER 200.5
18 Bruno Reuteler 26 Switzerland SUI 200.0
19 Martin Schmitt 20 Germany GER 199.5
20 Mika Laitinen 24 Finland FIN 199.0
21 Robert Mateja 23 Poland POL 197.5
22 Andi Goldberger 25 Austria AUT 196.5
23 Henning Stensrud 20 Norway NOR 193.0
24 František Jež 27 Czech Republic CZE 192.5
25 Artur Khamidulin 20 Russia RUS 186.5
26 Jaroslav Sakala 28 Czech Republic CZE 185.0
27 Aleksandr Volkov 19 Russia RUS 184.0
28 Jakub Sucháček 19 Czech Republic CZE 183.5
29 Sylvain Freiholz 23 Switzerland SUI 182.0
30 Dmitry Chvykov 22 Kazakhstan KAZ 177.0
31 Ivan Kozlov 19 Ukraine UKR 85.5
32T Stanislav Filimonov 18 Kazakhstan KAZ 85.0
32T Wojciech Skupień 21 Poland POL 85.0
32T Roberto Cecon 26 Italy ITA 85.0
35 Simon Ammann 16 Switzerland SUI 83.5
36 Espen Bredesen 30 Norway NOR 82.5
37 Jérôme Gay 22 France FRA 82.0
38 Blaž Vrhovnik 16 Slovenia SLO 81.0
39 Peter Žonta 19 Slovenia SLO 80.5
40T Aleksey Shibko 20 Belarus BLR 80.0
40T Roar Ljøkelsøy 21 Norway NOR 80.0
42T Nikolay Petrushin 18 Russia RUS 79.5
42T Alan Alborn 17 United States USA 79.5
42T Casey Colby 23 United States USA 79.5
42T Urban Franc 22 Slovenia SLO 79.5
46 Choi Heung-Cheol 16 South Korea KOR 77.5
47 Volodymyr Hlyvka 24 Ukraine UKR 77.0
48 Pavel Gayduk 21 Kazakhstan KAZ 76.5
49 Randy Weber 20 United States USA 74.5
50 Aleksandr Sinyavsky 20 Belarus BLR 71.5
51 Adam Małysz 20 Poland POL 70.5
52 Brendan Doran 18 United States USA 69.5
53 Choi Yong-Jik 15 South Korea KOR 69.0
54 Valery Kobelev 24 Russia RUS 68.0
55 Kakha Tsakadze 29 Georgia GEO 66.5
56T Liubym Kohan 22 Ukraine UKR 63.5
56T Marco Steinauer 21 Switzerland SUI 63.5
58 Aleksandr Kolmakov 31 Kazakhstan KAZ 63.0
59 Kim Hyeon-Gi 14 South Korea KOR 61.5
60 Martin Mesík 18 Slovakia SVK 61.0
61 Kim Heung-Soo 17 South Korea KOR 59.5
62 Krystian Długopolski 17 Poland POL 45.0