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Hoerl Breaks Ski Jump World Record

March 16, 2000

PLANICA, Slovenia (AP) _ Thomas Hoerl, an 18-year-old Austrian with little experience on the World Cup circuit, broke the world ski jumping record by leaping 224.5 meters in a practice session Thursday.

The previous record was held by Tommy Ingebrigtsen of Norway, who flew 219.5 meters in a qualifying session on the same hill last year.

``I felt very relaxed. I had very good conditions in the air and I did all the phases of the jump very well,″ Hoerl said. ``I also had no problems with my landing despite the record length.″

The Planica hill has produced the last nine ski flying records. The two final World Cup ski jumping competitions of the season will be held there over the weekend. Martin Schmitt of Germany already has clinched his second straight title.

``I think that the best jumpers could jump up to 230 meters in Planica,″ Hoerl said.

Hoerl has competed little on the World Cup ski jumping circuit. His best finish was an 18th place this January in Hakuba, Japan.

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