Nordic World Cup - Mid-Week Events
The midweek ski-jumping competition took place in Kuopio, Finland, and home-town hero Matti Hautamaki seized the day, winning easily over Norwegian Roar Ljokelsoy in second and
Jakub Janda (Czech Republic) and Adam Malysz (Poland), who tied for third. The win on the HS127 hill was Hautamaki's third straight, and perhaps his best of the year: he sealed the win on his final jump by soaring 128m and earning two perfect 20 scores for style. On Friday, Hautamaki kept up the high flying, winning the event at Lillehammer, Norway. Flying 131m and 135m on the big 134m hill, Hautamaki easily outpaced two Norwegians, Sigurd Pettersen and Lars Bystoel. Just as importantly for the crack Finnish ski-jumping team, Janne Ahonen placed fourth - setting a hill record with a staggering 137m jump in the first round - and sealed up the overall World Cup win. Norwegian Ljokelsoy is in second, too far back to catch up even if he sweeps the season's last three events. As the jump-by-jump commentary from Kuopio and Lillehammer shows, both events featured a thrilling share of gamesmanship as jumpers summoned up every bit of skill to fly into the lead. Hautamaki's 135m second-round flight at Lillehammer offers the best evidence of the sport's mano-a-mano character.