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Ammann takes silver in Sapporo

Simon Ammann confirmed that he can rise to the challenge on big occasions Keystone

Swiss ski jumper Simon Ammann has earned himself another medal at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Japan, finishing second on the normal hill.

Poland’s Adam Malysz took gold ahead of last week’s winner of the large hill event, recording the best jumps of the day. Switzerland’s other favourite, Andreas Küttel, finished fifth.

Ammann jumped into the record books last Saturday by being the first Swiss in more than 70 years to become world champion after winning the large hill competition in Sapporo.

He was already a household name in Switzerland after winning two Olympic gold medals at Salt Lake City in 2002.

“I’m very happy to have confirmed my title on the large hill,” said Ammann on Saturday. “It’s very satisfying because with two medals I am the best jumper at these championships.”

The Swiss admitted that he found it more difficult to jump on the normal hill, but his body language showed that he was oozing confidence. “Malysz was too strong, but I knew at the same time I could dominate the others,” he added.

Ammann is certainly not considered a specialist of the normal hill jump, which is not really suited to his jumping style.

Rising to the challenge

But he showed once again that he could rise to the occasion, even if the landing on his first jump was not particularly stylish.

“My week has been extraordinary,” he added. “People had asked if I could win two gold medals like at Salt Lake City in 2002, but I often answered this was something totally different.”

Malysz won his fourth world championship title, finishing well ahead of his Swiss rival and Austria’s Thomas Morgenstern.

Küttel was in with a medal chance after the first jump, which saw him in second position. But he was unable to confirm in the second leg and he fell back three places.

The result was still an improvement over the large hill competition, which saw Küttel, one of the season’s best performers, finish 19th. “I am proud to have jumped this well after what happened last week,” said the athlete.

swissinfo with agencies

1. Adam Malysz (Poland) 277 points (102/99.5m)
2. Simon Ammann (Switzerland) 255.5 (96.5/96.0)
3. Thomas Morgenstern (Austria) 254.5 (95.0/95.0)
4. Roar Ljökelsöy (Norway) 246.5 (94.5/92.5)
5. Andreas Küttel (Switzerland) 244 (95.5/92.0)

Ammann was born on June 25, 1981 in Grabs, eastern Switzerland.

He began competing in the World Cup in 1997.

He won two gold medals, in the normal and large hill events, at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002.

The biggest distance he has jumped is 218 metres at Planica in Slovenia – also in 2002.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR