With the normal hill competition already in the books, the top ski jumpers in the world will test their luck on the large hill on Day 8 of the Sochi Olympics.
Kamil Stoch was able to earn the first ski jumping gold with his performance in the normal hill. Considering the 2010 Olympics featured the same gold, silver and bronze medalists for both individual jumps, the Polish athlete remains a favorite to win another title.
Of course, reigning Olympic champion Simon Ammann of Switzerland will look to defend his gold medal. Additionally, normal hill medalists Peter Prevc and Anders Bardal will challenge for the top spot along with defending large hill bronze medalist Gregor Schlierenzauer.
These competitors have all prequalified for the finals thanks to their top-10 standing during the World Cup season. Those top seeds will be joined by the 40 qualifiers from Friday's opening round to create a competitive final.
Here is a look at what to expect for the final on Saturday.
When: Saturday, Feb. 15
Where: RusSki Gorki Jumping Center
Time (local): Round 1 at 9:30 p.m.; final at 10:35 p.m.
Time (U.S.): Round 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET; final at 1:35 p.m. ET
TV: NBC (Replay only at 8 p.m. ET)
Live Stream: NBC Olympics Live Extra
Bronze: Simon Ammann, Austria
While the 32-year-old has slowed down in recent years, there is no substitute for experience. Ammann has won four gold medals in his career, including two on the large hill, and he will use this skill to remain competitive this time around.
He did admit that getting a fifth gold medal would be difficult to achieve. According to Alexandre Fedorets of AFP News (via Yahoo!), Amman explained, "Maybe I will find a miracle solution on the large hill but I need to have a break."
Still, he had one good recent performance at Oberstdorf, Germany, where he won the World Cup event. If he can channel some of that skill, he has what it takes to at least medal in this competition.
Anders Bardal, Gregor Schlierenzauer, Noriaki Kasai and others will also challenge for a medal, but Ammann should be able to sneak away with a bronze with two good jumps.
Silver: Kamil Stoch, Poland
Few people were more excited about winning a gold medal than Kamil Stoch. After he realized he won the gold, he was carried off by his opponents:
Here is a look at him a little later on the podium:
The win was well-deserved after a fantastic showing on both of his jumps. He started things off with a 105.5-meter jump that was far and away the longest of the competition before following that up with a jump of 103.5 meters that was longer than anyone else's in the round.
Obviously the judges were huge fans of his performance as well, as he took high marks in each round.
There is little doubt that he has the skill to provide a few more impressive jumps to get onto the podium. However, someone else has the ability to edge him out for the gold medal.
Gold: Peter Prevc, Slovenia
While Stoch was better in the normal hill, few people have been as consistent as Peter Prevc over the past year.
The Slovenian star earned a medal in both the normal hill and large hill at the 2013 world championships, plus he has totaled seven podiums since the start of 2014 in the World Cup season.
Prevc most recently earned silver in the normal hill after a disappointing second jump. Still, he explained that he was satisfied afterward when he told the media,"I'm still collecting the best memories of my life. My performance today was one of the best. I was struggling during training," via the Associated Press (h/t ESPN).
This time around, his training is actually going well, according to FIS Ski Jumping:
The 21-year-old athlete is still learning and will continue to improve, but fans should expect the best performance of his life after he came in second the last time out.
He finished second to Stoch in this event at the world championships and will now get his redemption.
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