Noriaki Kasai – Shocker

Noriaki Kasai – Shocker

It has been 35 years since Noriaki Kasai made his World Cup vault debut. The year was 1988. While others are counting down to retirement, the Japanese will still compete at the highest levels.

This is evidenced by Kasai’s recent visit to the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. In connection with the training camp, he visited the local Toyota dealer.

According to the Polish Internet newspaper Ski jumping Kasai admitted to the crowd that he was looking forward to the 570th World Cup race of his career. He is currently listed with 569 runs. Of these times, he has finished on the podium 63 times and won 17 races. The biggest achievement is WC going on a ski trip from Harrachov in 1992.

If he returns – at the age of 51 – it will send shock waves through the jumping world. The last time he raced in a World Cup race was in February 2020. He then finished 36th in Sapporo, Japan.

Norway’s sporting director, Klas Brede Brathen, comments on Kasai’s ambitions as follows:

– Few of those of us who are excited about show jumping would be happier than if Kasai could rise to the level of being selected to race the World Cup again. It could have been a landmark moment, because it is incomprehensible that that could be possible.

Bråthen continues:

– That the person I competed with myself in Lahti in 1989 is still such a special competitor that I cannot express it. With that said, I’d say I don’t have a lot of faith in it. But I would be very happy if that happened.

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Sports Director: Claes Brede Brathen. Photo: Geir Olsen/NTB
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Skijumping writes that Kasai was asked about hockey player Jaromir Jäger during his visit to Ljubljana. The Czechs are the same age as the Japanese and still play in the Czech League.

Jaromir Jagr? Kasai says, I know we are the same age.

– I didn’t think it was still active. I rarely meet peers who are still professionally active in sports. I suppose Jaeger – like me – has a great passion for his sport. pay it.

When Halvor Egner Granerud took off at Lillehammer, things didn’t quite go according to plan. Video: National team jumping
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Sporting director Bråthen told Dagbladet that he met Kasai in connection with the season finale at Planica this spring. Aside from domestic show jumping in Japan, the 51-year-old has been barely visible on the international stage in recent years.

– I greeted him, Bråthen told Dagbladet.

– As always, he was smiling, sociable, and talking to people. If you take a look at him, you will see that he can still jump very well on skis. But you are not as flexible and strong as those under 25. Perhaps the laws of nature apply to Kasai as much as they do to me, though he took better care of his body than I did. I have no intention of jumping again, Prathen says with a smile.

SUPER VETERAN: This photo is from the 1998 Granassen World Cup. Noriaki Kasai (left) finished second.  Masahiko Harada (center) won, while Roberto Ciccone (right) was third.  Photo: NTB

SUPER VETERAN: This photo is from the 1998 Granassen World Cup. Noriaki Kasai (left) finished second. Masahiko Harada (center) won, while Roberto Ciccone (right) was third. Photo: NTB
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The summer season kicks off a jump with the Grand Prix in Courchevel, France, this weekend. Norway sends six players with Robert Johansson as the best player.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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