Mon, Jan 03, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Janne Ahonen leaps to Four Hills win

AP , GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, GERMANY

Finnish ski jumper Janne Ahonen flies during a training jump just ahead of the second leg of the Four Hills Ski Jumping Series in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Friday. Ahonen heads the rankings.

PHOTO: AFP

Janne Ahonen captured the second straight leg of the prestigious Four Hills tour Saturday, another victory in a practically flawless season so far for the Finnish ski jumper.

Ahonen won for the ninth time in 10 World Cup events. Austria's Thomas Morgenstern was second and Germany's Georg Spaeth was third. Ahonen's 27th career victory extended his lead in the overall World Cup standings. He has 980 points, with the Czech Republic's Jakub Janda second at 517.

"I'm so happy right now," Ahonen said. "Everything is fantastic."

The Finn, who won the Four Hills opener at Oberstdorf, soared off one of the world's oldest hills with leaps of 124m and 128m, by far the day's longest two jumps. He survived a near spill on his second effort, landing meters ahead of any other jumper and scraping the snow before righting himself.

"It was very close," said Ahonen, who missed the hill record by 1.5m. "It was difficult because I came down so high it was difficult to stand."

Ahonen was docked points for style because he nearly crashed. He was awarded 260.1 points, just six ahead of Morgenstern, despite the distance of his leaps. Morgenstern leaped 119.5m and 122.5m, with Spaeth going 120.5m and 118.5m.

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