Olympic Ski Jumping Men's Large Hill Qualifying 2014: Preview and Predictions

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Olympic Ski Jumping Men's Large Hill Qualifying 2014: Preview and Predictions
Dmitry Lovetsky/Associated Press

The biggest news in the ski jumping world heading into the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi was the fact that there will be individual women’s events for the first time in the history of the Games.

However, the men are making plenty of headlines of their own with the large hill qualifying right around the corner and the normal hill results in the books.

Dmitry Lovetsky/Associated Press

Kamil Stoch of Poland took home the gold in the normal hill competition with an impressive 278 points. It was such a dominating performance that the 11th-place finisher was closer to the silver medalist than the silver medalist was to Stoch. 

That silver medalist was Peter Prevc of Slovenia, who is also on the short list of favorites in the large hill event. He finished with 265.3 points, just ahead of bronze medalist Norway’s Anders Bardal, who tallied 264.1 points.

Bardal is also one of the top competitors in the large hill competition.

Now the collective attention of men’s ski jumping fans shifts to the large hill, which is scheduled as follows:

 

Men’s Individual Large Hill Qualifying Round

Date: Feb. 14

Time: 12:30 p.m. ET, 9:30 p.m. Sochi time and 5:30 p.m. GMT

TV Broadcast: NBC Sports Network at 2:30 p.m. ET (rebroadcast) and BBC at 5:30 p.m. GMT

 

Men’s Individual Large Hill First Round

Date: Feb. 15

Time: 12:30 p.m. ET, 9:30 p.m. Sochi time and 5:30 p.m. GMT 

TV Broadcast: NBC at 8 p.m. ET (rebroadcast) and BBC at 5:30 p.m. GMT

 

Men’s Individual Large Hill Final Round

Date: Feb. 15

Time: 1:15 p.m. ET, 10:15 p.m. Sochi time and 6:15 p.m. GMT 

TV Broadcast: NBC at 8 p.m. ET (rebroadcast) and BBC at 6:15 p.m. GMT

 

So who will jump out to a lead in qualifying runs and ultimately take home the medals in the large hill event? Let’s dig into some predictions.

 

Qualifying Leads and Medal Predictions

Anders Bardal, Norway: first place and eventual gold medal

Thomas Diethart, Austria: second place and eventual silver medal 

Peter Prevc, Slovenia: third place and eventual bronze medal

Morry Gash/Associated Press

 

Bardal has performed admirably lately, winning a gold medal in the normal hill event at the 2013 World Championships and finishing second overall in the 2013 World Cup standings.

He has established himself as one of the best ski jumpers in the world and helped Austria win a bronze medal in the team event in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He also counts a first-place finish in the 2012 overall World Cup standings and silver medals in the 2011, 2009 and 2007 World Championships to his resume.

Look for this veteran to add an Olympic gold to his illustrious list of accomplishments.

Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

Diethart, who made his World Cup debut in 2011 and picked up his first victory earlier this year at the Four Hills Tournament, doesn’t have that type of resume yet. However, he is well on his way to an impressive career.

If he can keep the composure that he told reporters about, via Yahoo! Sports, after that victory, he will have a chance to land on the podium in Sochi:

This is awesome, I judged that jump to perfection. I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere out there was great. It was a mental battle. Of course I was thinking I could do it. But I knew that the more relaxed I would be, the better chances I would have.

The bronze medal will go to Prevc, who already made the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia proud in these Olympics:

The 21-year-old Prevc already won two medals at the 2013 World Championships and will continue building on his recent momentum.

 

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