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Noriaki Kasai sets record with 8th Winter Olympics appearance

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By competing at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, Noriaki Kasai set a record for most appearances by an athlete at the Winter Olympics. The Japanese ski jumper participated in eight straight Olympics, beginning in 1992 and stretching to 2018.

Just for the sake of comparison, the top ski jumper in the world in 2017 – Austria’s Stefan Kraft – was born in 1993, a year after Kasai’s Olympic debut.

Kasai’s performance at the 2014 Sochi Olympics was record-setting in its own right. Not only did he set the record – tying with Russian luger Albert Demchenko – for seven Winter Olympic appearances, but he set several other records as well.

NBCOlympics.com: Who is Noriaki Kasai?

Kasai became ski jumping’s oldest individual medalist in Sochi when he won a silver medal on the large hill. He was 41 years, 254 days old. He also became the oldest medalist in ski jumping when he earned a bronze medal in the team event two days later, at 41 years, 256 days old. Additionally, by winning medals in Sochi, he tied the record for longest gap between winning medals: 20 years between Lillehammer in 1994 and Sochi 2014.

Kasai was born in Sapporo, Japan, a few months after the city hosted the Winter Olympics in 1972. He has said he expects to ski jump at the 2022 Olympics (his ninth Games), when he will be approaching 50.

More surprising still is that he hasn’t ruled out the 2026 Games, especially if Sapporo chooses to bid for hosting rights. Kasai would be 53.

NBCOlympics.com: All 4 U.S. men advance in normal hill qualifiers

As the owner of silver and bronze medals, he says his lack of a gold medal is what still drives him. If he accomplishes those goals in PyeongChang, he may reel back his claims of continuing in the sport.

Canadian equestrian competitior Ian Millar holds the overall record, competing in 10 Olympics. He competed at the Games in 1972, 1976, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. Canada boycotted the 1980 Olympics. His only medal, a silver, came at the 2012 London Olympics.

Kasai placed 20th in the men’s individual normal hill qualification round Thursday to advance to Saturday’s first round.

Eliud Kipchoge wins London Marathon; no world record (video)

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Eliud Kipchoge won his eighth straight marathon (ninth if you count Nike’s sub-two attempt), but missed the world record at a steamy London Marathon by more than one minute on Sunday.

The Kenyan Olympic champion clocked 2:04:17, pulling away from Ethiopian Tola Kitata by 32 seconds. Mo Farah, the four-time Olympic track champ in his second marathon, finished third in 2:06:21.

Kipchoge and Kitata fell off Dennis Kimetto‘s world-record pace around the 20th mile. Kimetto ran 2:02:57 at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.

Full results are here.

The temperature eclipsed 70 degrees Farenheit during the race, making it one of the hottest London Marathons ever. Perhaps considering that, Kipchoge said he ran “a beautiful race” for his third London title in four years.

“The conditions, I can’t complain, because all of us were running in the same arena,” he told media in London. “No regrets at all.”

Farah was satisfied, too, achieving his primary goal of breaking the 33-year-old British record held by Steve Jones.

“If you looked at the field before the start of that race, you would never have put me third place,” said Farah, who ran nearly two minutes faster than his marathon debut in London in 2014. “You would put ahead of me so many other guys.”

No world record in the women’s race, either. Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot won in 2:18:31, passing pre-race favorite Mary Keitany in the 23rd mile. Cheruiyot won by 1 minute, 42 seconds over countrywoman Brigid Kosgei. Keitany slowed to fifth in 2:24:27.

Cheruiyot, a 34-year-old mom, made her marathon debut in London last year, finishing fourth. Before that, Cheruiyot earned four Olympic medals on the track, plus four world titles combined in the 5000m and 10,000m.

Paula Radcliffe‘s world record with male pacers — 2:15:25 from 2003 — was a target for Keitany. Last year, Keitany broke Radcliffe’s world record without male pacers by 41 seconds, winning her third London title in 2:17:01.

The other leading contender Sunday, Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, stopped in the 20th mile.

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2018 London Marathon results

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Top finishers from the 38th London Marathon (full searchable results here) …

Men’s Elite
1. Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 2:04:17
2. Tola Kitata (ETH) 2:04:49
3. Mo Farah (GBR) 2:06:21
4. Abel Kirui (KEN) 2:07:07
5. Bedan Karoki (KEN) 2:08:34
6. Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 2:08:53
7. Lawrence Cherono (KEN) 2:09:25
8. Daniel Wanjiru (KEN) 2:10:35
9. Amanuel Mesel (ERI) 2:11:52
10. Yohanes Gebregergish (ER) 2:12:09
17. Guye Adola (ETH) 2:32:35

Women’s Elite
1. Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) 2:18:31
2. Brigid Kosgei (KEN) 2:20:13
3. Tadelech Bekele (ETH) 2:21:40
4. Gladys Cherono (KEN) 2:24:10
5. Mary Keitany (KEN) 2:24:27
6. Rose Chelimo (BRN) 2:26:03
7. Mare Dibaba (ETH) 2:27:45
8. Lily Partridge (GBR) 2:29:24
9. Tracy Barlow (GBR) 2:32:09
10. Stephanie Bruce (USA) 2:32:28
DNF. Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH)

Men’s Wheelchair
1. David Weir (GBR) 1:31:15
2. Marcel Hug (SUI) 1:31:15
3. Daniel Romanchuk (USA) 1:31:16
4. Josh George (USA) 1:31:24
5. Kurt Fearnley (AUS) 1:31:24

Women’s Wheelchair
1. Madison de Rozario (AUS) 1:42:58
2. Tatyana McFadden (USA) 1:42:58
3. Susannah Scaroni (USA) 1:43:00
4. Manuela Schar (SUI) 1:43:01
5. Amanda McGrory (USA) 1:43:04

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MORE: Shalane Flanagan looks to future after last Boston Marathon