Malysz Grabs Top-Spot in Ski Jump Qualifying

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Park City, Utah Feb. 12, 2002 (AP)--Before a boisterous crowd of 19,200 on his home mountain, Alan Alborn of the U.S. finished eighth Tuesday in qualifying for the 120-meter ski jump.

Alborn, who moved from Anchorage, Alaska, to Park City a year ago to train for the Olympics, had a jump of 392 feet (119.5 meters) on his qualifying attempt at the Utah Olympic Park.

``My jumps just get better and better,'' said Alborn. ``I hope tomorrow I can just nail it.''

Clint Jones, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., was the only other American to qualify for the final with a jump of 366 feet (111.5 meters).

Brendan Doran of Heber City, Utah, and Tommy Schwall of Steamboat Springs, didn't make the final.

Poland's Adam Malysz, the bronze medal winner at 90 meters, was the leader after qualifying, which trimmed the field of 66 jumpers to 50 for Tuesday's two-round final.

Malysz jumped 405 feet (123.5 meters) and finished with 120.8 points.

Simon Ammann of Switzerland, who surprised the field by winning gold on the 90-meter hill, matched Alborn's jump of 392 feet. Germany's Sven Hannawald, the silver medalist at 90 meters, jumped 400 feet (122 meters) and had 119.1 points.

Defending Olympic champion Kazuyoshi Funaki had 112.4 points with a 387-foot jump.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press