OSLO, Norway - Peter Frenette of Saranac Lake qualified for the championship round of big-hill ski jumping under the lights Thursday at the FIS World Nordic Skiing Championships in Oslo.
The 19-year old Olympian, skiing in his first World Championships, finished 35th.
The event proved to be another showcase for the strong Austrian program as Gregor Schlierenzauer took the gold with jumps of 130.0 and 134.5 meters. His teammate Thomas Morgenstern took silver, and four-time Olympic gold medalist Simon Ammann took the bronze medal for Switzerland.
The towering 134-meter Holmenkollbakken is one of the most imposing jump structures in the world, with huge wind screens flanking the takeoff. It was rebuilt specifically for the 2011 World Championships.
The original qualifying round on Wednesday was canceled due to heavy fog and rescheduled just prior to Thurdsay's planned big-hill jump. In front of a capacity crowd of roaring fans, Frenette laid down a strong leap of 114.0 meters to qualify for the first round of the championships.
"There was so much fog that it made it a little difficult," said Frenette, who was 18th in a World Cup event in Sapporo, Japan in January to qualify for the World Championships as the lone American jumper. "For my jump, I could only see right in front of me, but that is about all you need to ski. It was fun, and there were a lot of people here. You couldn't see the crowd until you get down to the bottom; you could only here them cheering."
FIS World Nordic Ski Championships
Oslo, Norway - Mar. 3, 2011
Gold: Gregor Schlierenzauer, Austria, (130.0. 134.5), 277.5
Silver: Thomas Morgenstern, Austria, (133.0, 131.0), 277.2
Bronze: Simon Ammann, Switzerland, (129.5, 134.5), 274.3
35. Peter Frenette, Saranac Lake, NY, (117.5), 104.7
The fog, which has plagued the championships, became a thing of beauty in the first round as the sun danced in and out through the moist, gray air.
Frenette went 117.5 meters on his first round jump, which put him in 35th overall. He did not qualify for a second jump.