A huge leap by Finland’s Janne Ryynaenen propelled him into the pole position after the ski jumping portion of the individual nordic combined event on Sunday.
Ryynaenen had the largest jump of the day by far, travelling 105 m, amassing him 80 distance points. On top of the great distance travelled, Ryynaenen also had the largest judge points of the day at 55.5 to boost his total score to 135.5.
The lone Canadian in the field, Jason Myslicki, ended up in 43rd place after the jump with a score of 93. Myslicki finished 41st at Turin and briefly retired after those Games before coming back out of retirement in time for the 2008-2009 season to compete at the Vancouver Games.
Todd Lodwick of the United States and Christoph Bieler of Austria finished second and third, earning 127 and 125 points respectively.
The first place finish after the ski jumping section will do Ryynaenen a lot of good. Since the rules of the event state that every athlete coming after the leader of the ski jumping section must start four seconds after him, Ryynaenen will have a 34 second lead over his closest qualifier, Lodwick.
The finish of the event should prove to be exciting because there is only a time differential of 16 seconds between the third and 12th place, ensuring that there will be a large scrum that will look to take advantage of any mistakes that the leaders could make.
In amongst this scrum will be the current World Cup leader, Jason Lamy Chappuis of France, the favourite coming into the event. He finished fifth after the jump.
A notable surprise is the placement of veterans Magnus Moan of Norway and Felix Gottwald of Austria. The two took home medals in Turin, and they have found themselves in 40th and 41st place. Although they are very strong cross-country skiers, with a time deficit of over two minutes to overcome, it is unlikely they will see the podium this year.
The conclusion to the individual normal hill nordic combined will take place later today at 1:45 PM PST with a 10 km cross-country race.