Swiss Ammann wins first medal of 2010 Games 

With the men's downhill event postponed the first medals awarded at the 2010 Winter Games went to ski jumpers, with the men's normal hill competition taking place at Whistler Olympic Park Saturday.

Simon Ammann of Switzerland, the last man to jump, won the gold medal. Ammann is arguably the top jumper in the world right now with five World Cup wins to his credit and two gold medals at Salt Lake City. He's just 28 years old.

He won both rounds at Whistler Olympic Park, jumping 105 metes and 108 metres, landing almost at the bottom of the hill each time. He didn't earn the highest style marks - which are awarded to encourage good technique for taking off and landing - but simply outjumped his competition in both rounds.

"This is my third Olympic gold medal, it's insane!" said a jubilant Ammann. "I have no words for this, it's crazy.... Here I am eight years on, bringing such concentrated energy and strength and the experienced gained from my career to the hill once again.

"I just knew I could do it if I was calm and relaxed, which I was."

His final score after two jumps was 276.5, seven points ahead of Adam Malsyz of Poland. The bronze medal went to Austria's Gregor Schlierenzauer.

Ammann's career has been full of streaks. He had never won a World Cup event before winning both jumping competitions at the 2002 Olympics. At the Torino Olympics four years ago he was seventh on the large hill and tied for 38th on the normal hill. Ammann's 2006 World Cup season was also disappointing, as he placed 17th. But he's back this season.

Rounding out the top 10 Saturday were Janne Ahonen of Finland, Michael Uhrmann of Germany, Robert Kranjec and Peter Prevc of Russia, Thomas Morgenstern of Switzerland, Anders Jacobsen of Norway and Martin Scmitt of Germany.

No Canadians finished in the top 40 of the qualifying round on Feb. 12. Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes and Trevor Morrice came closest, finishing 44th and 46th respectively. Boyd-Clowes missed qualifying by just 3.5 points.

 

 

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