Swiss Ammann sets Olympic ski jump record

08:40, February 21, 2010      

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Simon Ammann of Switzerland has captured an unprecedented Olympic double, adding large hill gold to normal hill victory on Saturday, just as he did in Salt Lake City eight years ago.


Simon Ammann of Switzerland reacts after his final jump during the individual large hill ski jumping event at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, February 17, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

The 28-year-old, competing in his fourth Olympics, has been in peerless form at Whistler Olympic Park and soared to jumps of Olympic record-setting 144 meters and 138 meters for a total of 283.6 points to seal a commanding victory.

Ammann took normal hill gold a week ago with an equally emphatic performance. Ammann's ski jumping tactics are simple -- jump a lot further than the rest of the field and gold is assured.

"The guys from FIS told me I have to get my own hill and my own competition, but I like it here in North America," said Ammann, who has won all four of his Olympic gold medals in North America.


Switzerland's Simon Ammann celebrates during the flower ceremony after the individual large hill ski jumping event at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, February 20, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

In round one, he made 144 meters, a full seven meters further than his nearest rival but in terms of style marks, he ranked only 23rd.

"I could not hear the distance of Adam Malysz (silver medallist). First I tried to watch him jump, then I said 'No, this will make me too nervous'," said Ammann.

"I thought that the advantage of my first round was enough to win the medal. I was to excited about the idea of winning a fourth."

In final round, he soared to 138 meters to become the first ski jumper in history to claim four Olympic gold medals.

"I had only good jumps. This is probably what makes the difference between me and the other jumpers. To come here and feel so confident on the hill. I was always so sure I could do a good jump," added the World Cup number one.


Switzerland's Simon Ammann celebrates during the flower ceremony after the individual large hill ski jumping event at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, February 20, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Second placed skier was Adam Malysz of Poland who produced 137m and 133.5m, good enough for 269.4 points and his third Olympic silver medal.

"I'm very happy and excited and thank you to everybody who came here. They mean so much. I'm extremely happy that this is such a good present for Polish fans and supporters of Poland. And nice for me personally as well," said Malysz.

Third place went to Austria's Gregor Schlilerenzauer, who repeated the trick of his normal hill bronze with jumps of 130.5m and 136m for a combined total of 262.2 as the normal hill podium was mirrored.

"The feeling is very nice. This competition was good for me. Now I am 20, I have two medals. It is really amazing for me, I can't believe it," said the Austrian.

"I am looking forward to the team event, maybe I can win a third medal."


Switzerland's Simon Ammann soars through the air during a warm-up jump before the individual large hill ski jumping event at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, February 20, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Ammann's superiority in terms of distance is unquestionable but it has not gone down well among the strong Austrian contingent in Vancouver and they lodged an official complaint over the boot bindings used by the Swiss.

The Swiss are using a curved iron binding instead of an elastic one, helping jumpers to stand closer to parallel with their skis in the air, thereby boosting their aerodynamics.

The appeal was rejected by the International Ski Federation.

Source: Xinhua
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