Olympic ski jumping champ Stoch primed for Pyeongchang

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2018, file photo, Poland's overall winner Kamil Stoch lifts the trophy after the winning ceremony for the Four Hills Ski Jumping event at the ski jump in Bischofshofen, Austria. With an historic win on the World Cup circuit, double Olympic champion Kamil Stoch is in peak form as he aims to defend his ski jumping titles at the Pyeongchang Games. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2018, file photo, Poland's Kamil Stoch soars through the air during the trial jump at the third stage of the four hills ski jumping tournament in Innsbruck, Austria. With an historic win on the World Cup circuit, double Olympic champion Stoch is in peak form as he aims to defend his ski jumping titles at the Pyeongchang Games. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2018, file photo, Poland's Kamil Stoch celebrates after winning the third stage of the Four Hills Ski Jumping event at the ski jump in Innsbruck, Austria. With an historic win on the World Cup circuit, double Olympic champion Stoch is in peak form as he aims to defend his ski jumping titles at the Pyeongchang Games. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2018, file photo, Poland's Kamil Stoch makes his trial jump at the ski jump in Bischofshofen, Austria, the fourth stage of the Four Hills Ski Jumping event. With an historic win on the World Cup circuit, double Olympic champion Kamil Stoch is in peak form as he aims to defend his ski jumping titles at the Pyeongchang Games. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson, File)

With a historic win on the World Cup circuit this season, double Olympic champion Kamil Stoch is in peak form as he aims to defend his ski jumping titles at the Pyeongchang Games.

Stoch won his second straight Four Hills tournament in Bischofshofen, Austria, on Jan. 6 to become only the second ski jumper in the long history of the sport to win all four stages of the prestigious event.

Germany's Sven Hannawald is the only other ski jumper to achieve the feat, winning all four stages 16 years ago. Stoch also won the Four Hills in 2017 when he was first in just one of the four stages.

The 30-year-old Pole won both the normal and large hill events at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, adding to his world title on the large hill a year before.

When Stoch won double gold in Sochi, he became just the third man to do so. Matti Nykanen of Finland won both golds in 1988. Switzerland's Simon Ammann won two golds in 2002 and 2010.

Here's some of what to know going into ski jumping at the Pyeongchang Games:

MEDAL FAVORITES: Slovenia's Peter Prevc won silver on the normal hill and bronze on the large hill in Sochi. While he has struggled this year on the World Cup circuit he will be banking on experience that includes winning the 2016 World Cup and the 2016 Four Hills.

Germany's Richard Freitag has three World Cup wins so far this season but fell during the Innsbruck stop of the Four Hills and suffered a hip injury that could jeopardize his Olympic medal hopes.

Andreas Wellinger of Germany has been on the podium five times this season and will also be a strong medal contender.

RISING STARS: Daniel Andre Tande. The 23-year-old has three World Cup wins overall and has performed well this season with three podium finishes. The Norwegian finished second at the Innsbruck stage of the Four Hills and could be set for a breakthrough in Pyeongchang.

POTENTIAL RECORD SETTERS: Another jumper to keep an eye on in Pyeongchang will be ageless wonder Noriaki Kasai. Known as "Legend Kasai" in his native Japan, the 45-year-old will be competing in his eighth consecutive Olympics.

Kasai would become the sole record-holder for most Winter Olympic appearances if he competes in Pyeongchang. He currently shares the record with Russian luger Albert Demchenko.

Kasai made his Olympic debut at the 1992 Albertville Games in France, and has appeared at every event since. He has earned three medals, including team silver at Lillehammer in 1994, and silver for the large hill and team bronze at Sochi.

He is the oldest Olympic ski jumping medalist and the oldest ski jumping World Cup individual event winner.

BEST RIVALRY: Germany edged out Austria in the team event four years ago and the two ski jumping rivals should provide some fireworks again this year along with powerhouse Norway.

The ski jumping competition will take place at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre, which is located in the Pyeongchang Mountain Cluster.

___

More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

You may also interested in

'American Crime Story' writers focusing on Hurricane Katrina

Aug 10, 2016

An executive producer behind 'American Crime Story,' the anthology series for FX, says they're taking 'great care' with casting of the season which will focus on Hurricane Katrina

10 Things to Know for Thursday

Aug 11, 2016

Among 10 Things to Know: Criticism may be slowing Trump train; 'Grim Sleeper' sent to death row; versatile ESPN sportscaster dies at 61

Trump ignites new firestorm: Gun backers might stop Clinton

Aug 10, 2016

Donald Trump sets off a fresh political firestorm by suggesting gun rights supporters might find a way to stop Hillary Clinton if she's elected and nominates anti-gun Supreme Court justices

People also read these

A look at China's foreign policy challenges

Aug 10, 2016

China's simmering feud with South Korea over deployment of an American missile defense system is the latest in a string of foreign policy challenges piling up on President Xi Jinping's desk as he prepares to host next month's annual summit of G20 nations

Turkish, Russian officials to discuss solution for Syria

Aug 10, 2016

Turkey's foreign minister says Turkish foreign ministry, military and intelligence officials will travel to Russia for discussions on finding a solution to the Syria conflict

Beyond 'Obamacare': State initiatives refocus health debate

Aug 9, 2016

Political activists are looking to state ballot questions to move beyond "Obamacare" and refocus the nation's long-running debate over government's role in health care

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH