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October 25, 2014

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Stoch best in opening round of jumping training

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AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

Poland’s Kamil Stoch makes his jump during the men’s large hill ski jumping training session at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Normal hill gold medal winner Kamil Stoch of Poland shook off the effects of a crash landing 24 hours earlier to place first, second and third in three training rounds Thursday in large hill ski jumping at the Sochi Olympics.

Stoch had minor facial injuries and hurt his left arm when he fell Wednesday. His injury was not the worst of the night — Russian Mikhail Maksimochkin fractured ribs and was taken to the hospital.

Maksimochkin was still listed on the start sheets for Thursday's three jumps, but, not surprisingly, he had a DNS — did not start— next to his name after all three rounds.

Later, the FIS said the 20-year-old Maksimochkin was expected to be released from the hospital on Friday and would not attempt to qualify for the individual large hill final on Saturday.

A decision on whether he competes for Russia in the team event on Monday will be made by the weekend.

Simon Ammann of Switzerland, the defending large hill champion from Vancouver in 2010 and who is attempting to win a record fifth Olympic gold, fell on his second jump of the night but was able to walk off from the landing area.

"I missed the rhythm and it punishes you quickly," said Ammann, who returned to jump in the third round.

Severin Freund of Germany edged Stoch into second in the second round.

Peter Prevc of Slovenia, who won the silver behind Stoch in the normal hill event, led the third-round jumpers with Freund second and Stoch third.

More than a dozen of the 70 jumpers passed on the third round at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center.

Mild temperatures began to affect the condition of the landing area, where the artificial snow appeared to be shredding, causing concerns for organizers ahead of Friday night's qualifying session.

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