In his third Winter Olympics, FIS World Cup ski jumping leader Kamil Stoch has won his first Olympic medal – and it’s the best one of all.
On the last jump of tonight’s normal hill final, Stoch soared 103.5 meters and pulled down a score of 136.0 to claim the gold medal with a combined score over two jumps of 278.0.
Before tonight, Stoch’s previous best individual finish in an Olympics was a 14th-place showing on the large hill four years ago in Vancouver.
MORE: NBCOlympics.com slideshow – Men’s normal hill final
Slovenia’s Peter Prevc, another of the top World Cup jumpers, wound up with silver after going into first place on his own final jump. His combined score of 265.3 was able to stand up against the next-to-last jumper of the night, Norway’s Anders Bardal (264.1), who eventually settled for the bronze.
None of the three Americans that advanced out of qualifying to tonight’s final – Nick Alexander, Peter Frenette and Anders Johnson – were able to earn a second jump. In the final, only the Top 30 competitors after the first jump get to take part in the second round.
Notables include Gregor Schlierenzauer in 11th (253.3), Thomas Morgenstern in 14th (251.6), and 2010 Olympic normal hill champion Simon Ammann in 17th (246.6).
MEN’S SKI JUMPING – NORMAL HILL FINAL
Combined score across two jumps
1. Kamil Stoch (POL) – 278.0
2. Peter Prevc (SLO) – 265.3
3. Anders Bardal (NOR) – 264.1
34. Nick Alexander (USA) – 116.0 (one jump)
45. Peter Frenette (USA) – 107.2 (one jump)
47. Anders Johnson (USA) – 104.2 (one jump)