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Kasai Extends Records and Peter Prevc Retires in Glory as His Sister Wins

Eight years ago, I was writing about Noriaki Kasai and Peter Prevc at the end of the Ski Jumping World Cup season… And now I’m doing it again, even if Kasai’s position didn’t allow him to compete today and Peter Prevc only finished sixth, so it could be said that Friday’s competition was more relevant, since Peter Prevc won and Kasai didn’t just compete, but even squeezed into the second round once again, albeit only thanks to the disqualification of Fettner. And yesterday’s team competition should also be mentioned, at least in Kasai’s case, since it marked his last appearance this season.
Of course, every time Kasai competes, he takes the records for oldest competitor, now at 51 years and 292 days, and most appearances, now at 578, which doesn’t seem to include team competitions, one step further, and while I only expected to see him again in Sapporo, that was actually only the, admittedly very late, start of his season and this month he was a full member of Japan’s team. True, at first that might have been in good part because Japan didn’t exactly have a fourth competitor this year, not to mention a fifth, the results of those who were placed in those spots being disappointing, and if he wanted to keep competing, they had little to lose. But then his results proved that he actually deserved that place on the team. Sure, that’s by comparison with the others’ poor results, but the fact remains that, at this moment, as he approaches the age of 52, Noriaki Kasai is the fourth best Japanese ski jumper, so his participation in the team competitions is also obtained on merit. And that is nothing short of amazing.
As for Peter Prevc, unless he’ll change his mind, today’s competition marked the end of his career and, as I already mentioned, he obtained another victory on this final weekend, at least if you stretch the definition of “weekend” a little. It wasn’t today, and Slovenia also failed to win yesterday’s team competition, but winning on Friday still counts as doing so right at the end of his career, and obtaining that result on home soil makes it even better. Plus that he was the best Slovenian at the end of the season, both overall and in the Ski Flying classification, this latter result probably being even more remarkable, considering how good the Slovenian team is on flying hills in particular. So I’m quite sure that he could have continued to compete at a high level, and the sport, not to mention the Slovenian team, will sorely miss him, but if this is his decision and he wants to move on to another stage of his life, there were few better ways to do it. And let’s not forget that the family has much more to celebrate, Nika Prevc being, I’d say, the surprise winner of the women’s Ski Jumping World Cup this season!


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