Prevc closes in on World Cup ski jump overall title
ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) Peter Prevc is on the verge of winning the overall World Cup ski jump title after taking his 12th event victory Saturday.
The Slovenian jumped 141 and 137.5 meters on the HS140 hill for a total score of 272.7 points, placing a full 18 points ahead of second-placed Austrian Michael Hayboeck.
German jumper Severin Freund, the reigning World Cup champion, was third on 252. Freund is the only man with a chance of stopping Prevc from sealing his first career overall title in Sunday's second event in Almaty.
Prevc holds a 599-point overall lead with a possible 700 points still available in the remaining part of the season. Simply finishing above Freund on Sunday will be enough to make Prevc the first Slovenian champion since 1998.
In the women's competition, held earlier on the smaller HS106 hill, World Cup champion Sara Takanashi continued to overwhelm opponents with her 13th win of the season.
The Japanese 19-year-old set the two biggest jumps of the competition at 101 and 103 meters for a total score of 252.6 points.
The only other jumper to break 100 meters was Austria's Daniela Iraschko Stolz, who leapt 97 and 100.5 meters for 245.3 points. Another Austrian, Jacqueline Seifriedsberger, was third on 239.2.
Takanashi, who secured the overall World Cup title in Finland earlier this month, moves to 1,510 points in the standings, 451 ahead of Iraschko-Stolz.
There is another women's round in Almaty on Saturday, the last of the season after planned competitions in Romania next month were canceled due to warm weather and lack of snow.