Johannes Rydzek is double World Champion

01 March 2017 05:54
Johannes Rydzek is the shining figure of Lahti 2017
Johannes Rydzek is the shining figure of Lahti 2017 -

Johannes Rydzek is surfing on the wave of success and he shows no signs of stopping. The German won his third Lahti 2017 gold medal today by claiming the victory in the second individual event, making him the double World Champion 2017. Rydzek finished 4.8 seconds ahead of Japanese Akito Watabe, who finally wins his first World Championship medal. The bronze went to Francois Braud from France. He finished 13 seconds behind  Rydzek.

Austrian Mario Seidl won the jumping round with a fantastic jump of 132 metres. 137.3 points gave him a head start of 46 seconds on teammate Willi Denifl. The veteran showed 125.5 metres (125.7 p.). The third intermediate position went to Akito Watabe who landed at 125 metres. 123.8 points meant a start time of 54 seconds behind Seidl, a position and starting time Watabe shared with France’s Francois Braud.

Reigning World Champion Bernhard Gruber had a decent jump but no “Berni-bomb” and started into the race one minute and 16 seconds behind the leader. Also Eric Frenzel was not able to step up his game in the competition and landed at 121 metres already. He started the cross-country race with a delay of one minute and 29 seconds.

In contrast, perpetual rival Johannes Rydzek kept his chances for the third gold medal in a row alive with 122 metres and the intermediate fifth position, +1:00 behind Seidl. Norwegians Magnus Moan and Magnus Krog were very satisfied with their jumping performances and had to contend with time disadvantages of one minute and 21 and one minute and 34 seconds respectively.

The race was a tactical affair with Mario Seidl having to ski alone at the head of the field for most of the race. A pursuing group of five skiers formed quickly with Rydzek banding together with Akito Watabe, Francois Braud and Willi Denifl. Working together, these four skied a well-paced race, shortening the distance to Seidl without overpacing.

On the last lap, Denifl was the first one who had to let go while Rydzek went for his third gold in a row, bypassing Seidl on the way. Attacking on the last uphill, Akito Watabe tried to follow but in the end, Rydzek’s victory was undisputed. In this effort, however, a gap also opened between Watabe and Braud, so that the first Japanese individual medal since Kenji Ogiwara in Ramsau am Dachstein 1999 became a silver one. Braud was still overjoyed with his best race of the season giving him a bronze medal.

Young Mario Seidl ended up on the unlucky fourth position in the end but held veteran teammate Willi Denifl and the fastest skier of the field, Fabian Rießle, at bat. Eric Frenzel finished seventh, David Pommer and Bernhard Gruber completed a great Austrian team result with four athletes in the Top Ten on ranks eight and nine and Espen Andersen was the best Norwegian on position ten.

Final Results
Ski Jumping Results