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Ammann wins first gold of Vancouver 2010 Games

Switzerland's Simon Ammann wins ski jump gold

Highlights - Ammann claims ski jump gold

Switzerland's Simon Ammann won the first gold medal of the Vancouver 2010 Games, in normal hill ski jumping.

Ammann set a hill record 108m with the final jump of the event to take his third Olympic title, after winning two golds in Salt Lake City in 2002.

The world number one won ahead of Poland's Adam Malysz and Austrian pre-event favourite Gregor Schlierenzauer.

Ammann, who scored 276.5 points, led after the first round but then had to hold his nerve for the final jump.

Amman knew he had won as soon as he made his second landing and clenched his fists while sliding to a halt.

When the results were confirmed he embraced his coach and jumped around on the snow, his skis still over his shoulder.

"I have no words for this. It's crazy. I tried to hard to focus," he said. "It's my third gold medal. It's insane."

Schlierenzauer slipped on landing after his first jump but recovered from seventh to clinch the bronze.

Malysz had taken the lead with only two jumpers remaining - although his leap of 105m metres was less than Schlierenzauer's, the judges' marks put Malysz ahead.

Austria have four of the top five jumpers in the world yet could only finish third, eighth, 11th and joint 19th.

Before the Games started there had been talk in jumping circles that Schlierenzauer's performances were slipping and his touch betrayed him on landing.

Schlierenzauer, however, is best known for his ability to glide through the air and should be strong contender in next week's large hill competition.

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