FIS Ski Jumping Grand Prix 2014 ahead
While summer is a time for many FIS athletes to take time off, relax and prepare for the next season, ski jumpers are ready to battle it out in the FIS Grand Prix 2014. A total of ten competitions (nine individual and one team) at seven different venues will be staged as part of the series which begins on 25th July.
For the first time, the opening event will be held in Wisla (POL). Large crowds are expected at the HS 134 Adam-Malysz-hill for the team competition on Friday, 25th July, and the individual competition on Saturday. These will be the first competitions on home soil for double Olympic Champion Kamil Stoch since he earned the gold medals in Sochi (RUS).
Two weeks later on 9th August the Grand Prix will move on to Einsiedeln (SUI) before the traditional Grand Prix in Courchevel (FRA) on 15th August.
Afterwards, the series continues with two competitions (23rd-24th August) in Hakuba (JPN) where the local fans cannot wait to see veteran Noriaki Kasai. The 42-year-old had an incredible season last winter when he won a FIS Ski Flying World Cup competition on the Kulm hill (AUT) and earned an incredible two Olympic medals, silver on the large hill and team bronze.
After a four-week break, the fight for the overall Grand Prix title enters its final stage with two competitions in Almaty (KAZ) from 20th-21st September. As has become a tradition, the Grand Prix will end with competitions in Hinzenbach (AUT) and Klingenthal (GER) on 28th September and 4th October, respectively.
Exciting battles ahead
Among many high profile athletes, fans can again look forward to the seeing the two best athletes of last summer competing, Andreas Wellinger (GER) and Jernej Damjan (SLO). They put on an exciting fight for the overall Grand Prix Series victory which lasted until the final event in Klingenthal. In the end, Wellinger had the better finish and clinched the title.
An innovation to the competition format will make the Grand Prix especially interesting.It will serve as a testing phase for the Ski Flying events this upcoming winter with the best 48 athletes (40 in Ski Flying) qualifying for the competition. The athletes will then be seeded into four groups of 12 athletes. The best six of each group will qualify for the final round of the best 24.
Two Grand Prix competitions for the ladies
The ladies will have two competitions this summer, which will be held in Almaty (KAZ) at the same time as the men's events. Japan’s superstar Sara Takanashi who took the title in the past season is one of the top favourites for this year’s edition.