Our sweet Norwegian prince, Robert Johansson, is rightfully atop - WSMV News 4

Our sweet Norwegian prince, Robert Johansson, is rightfully atop the leaderboard

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No surprises here.

It was the all normal suspects atop the men's individual large hill qualifying round scoreboard at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre Friday.

Names like Norway's Johann Andre Forfang, Germany's Andreas Wellinger (who won the gold on the normal hill) and Kamil Stoch (the 2014 gold medalist) all were included in the top seven. But enough about the jumping.

One name, one mustache, rose above the rest Friday. Yes, that's right, our sweet Norwegian prince, Robert Johansson took the top spot in the qualifying round after winning the bronze on the normal hill. Clearly, he's no slouch on the hill, but he's become more well known in PyeongChang for his immaculate facial hair.

"I started two years ago saving for a beard," Johansson said. "After a while, it got quite long so I decided to see if it was able to make a mustache, and it was, and after this, long story short, I was getting a bit of attention and thought it was fun, and then (it) kind of took off.

"I don't feel it in the air, maybe it's kind of (steering) me in the right direction, I don't know."

Johansson launched a 135.0-meter jump -- not the farthest on the day -- but was awarded 131.9 points for a superior landing and limited help from the wind.

"Fantastic day again for me, for sure," he said of his performance. "Two quite stable jumps. I felt I had quite difficult flying conditions in the qualifications, but with the energy from the table, I was able to fly anyway. And of course, I take a lot of confidence from the K90 (the men's normal hill). I feel fantastic and it's a great thing to feel when you are here.

"I can for sure put out even better jumps. How I'm feeling and my general physical shape, I think I've never been better."

The farthest jump of the day went to Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi, who came out of nowhere at 143.5 meters, taking third place. Previously, his furthest jump of the week was 134 meters in Wednesday's training session.

"It was a big difference," Kobayashi said of his surprising jump. "I did a small adjustment and it was a big difference, I do not know why."

Both Michael Glasder and Kevin Bickner advanced for Team USA. Glasder, jumping third with the lower-ranked athletes, had a solid showing, finishing 38th with a distance of 124.5 points for 88.7 points.

Bickner, the top U.S. jumper in the normal hill, again led the Americans, placing 35th with a jump two meters shorter than Glasder’s. Overall, he received a better score as he didn’t have the same benefit of a favorable wind.

Team USA’s William Rhoads and Casey Larson weren’t as lucky, as they both missed the cut. Rhoads was the first one out, falling just .20 points behind the final qualifier.

The top 10 jumpers in the World Cup rankings automatically qualify for Saturday’s final.

Seven athletes were cut from the competition, as 50 jumpers will advance to the final.

Each jumper was judged on one scored jump, graded on distance and style, with additional points being awarded or deducted based on favorable or unfriendly winds.

But distance scoring isn’t as simple as you would think. The “K” point is a line on the flat bottom of the hill. Think of the line as par in golf. Reach the “K” point of 125-meters and a jumper will be awarded a score of 60 or more points, fall short and a jumper receives a score lower than 60 – before wind and gate calculations are factored in.

Stream the large hill finals Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET right here.

More coming...

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