Swiss ski jumper Ammann wins first gold in Vancouver

Switzerland’s Simon Ammann made it look easy as he soared to victory in the normal hill ski jumping competition at Whistler Olympic Park, Saturday.

The 28-year-old veteran, and World Cup leader, set a hill record with his final jump of 108 metres, building on a 2.5 point lead he owned after the first round, and finishing with a total of 276.5.

Ammann, who won two gold medals in Salt Lake City in 2002, had been favoured going into the 2010 Olympics, and rose to the occasion dominating the field with a seven point margin of victory.

His closest competition came from another veteran, Adam Malysz, also known as the “Polish Batman.” The four-time World Cup champion won his second career Olympic silver medal, finishing with 269.5 points.

Rounding out the podium was 20-year-old Austrian Gregor Schlierenzauer, who won bronze in his first Winter Games with 268 points.

Schlierenzauer, who was ranked second to Ammann in the World Cup standings this season, had a disappointing first jump but was able to battle back into contention with the second longest jump of the second round (106 m).

No Canadians were able to qualify and compete in Saturday’s medal round, however Toronto’s Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes finished highest in Friday’s qualifier missing the cut by just two points.

Boyd-Clowes will be joined by his teammates, Alberta natives Trevor Morrice and Stefan Read, as well as the youngest Canadian in the Olympics, 17-year-old Eric Mitchell, in the long hill competition starting Feb. 19, as well as the team competition beginning on the 22nd.

The heavy favourites remain to be the Austrians, with four of the top five ranked ski jumpers in the World, they look for better results in these other categories of the event.