Austria takes team gold at the JWSC 2015 in Almaty
Thomas Wolfgang Jöbstl, Bernhard Flaschberger, Noa Mraz and Paul Gerstgraser have taken the team gold medal at the final Nordic Combined event of the Nordic Junior World Championships in Almaty. Team Austria finished 16 seconds ahead of Team Germany (Mauersberger, Weber, Hanf, Lange). The Nowegian team had to be satisfied with a bronze medal for Simen Tiller, Harald and Jarl Riiber and Lars Buraas today, finishing 49.7 seconds after Austria.
The ski jumping round ended with a close result, promising an exciting race. Team Norway captured an intermediate rank one with a total of 429.3 points after jumps of 84.5, 82,5, 96 and 95 metres from Simen Tiller, Lars Buraas and Harald and Jarl Riiber. Team Japan ended the jumping with just 0.2 points less after Yuto Nakamura, Yoshihiro Kimura, Ryota Yamamoto and Hisaki Nagamine showed 91, 85.5, 93 an 92 metres.
Lukas Danek, Martin Dufek, Tomas Vancura and Tomas Portyk of the Crech Republic ended up on the third rank with 427.5 points and a time disadvantage of only 2 seconds. Team Germany followed on the intermediate fourth position with 423.9 points which meant only 7 seconds to make up and hot title favourites Austria ranked sixth and had to battle 30 seconds of time behind after they achieved a total of 406.6 points.
Ski Jumping Results
The opening laps were skied by Simen Tiller for Norway, Tomas Portyk for the Czech Republic, Phillip Mauersberger for Germany and Thomas Wolfgang Jöbstl for Austria. After 2.5 km, Tiller was still in the lead for Norway, forming a leading group with Germany and the Czech Republic while Japan had already lost six seconds. Fast skier Jöbstl advanced to the fifth position and had made up 11 seconds already, putting the Austrian team at a time behind of 19 seconds.
Simen Tiller reached the first exchange first, sending teammate Harald Riiber on his way at the same time as Team Germany changed from Mauersberger to Terence Weber. 12 seconds later, the Czech Republic and Austria reached the exchange zone and Martin Dufek and Bernhard Flaschberger took over. As expected, fast skier Flaschberger took the lead from Norway at the 7.5 km point but Harald Riiber and Terence Weber were hanging on to Flaschberger and forming a leading group. Martin Dufek had dropped to a time behind of 44 seconds for the Czech Team, skiing together with Finland’s Leevi Mutru.
At halfway point of the race, Austria’s victory march had already begun. Bernhard Flaschberger managed to take 33.4 seconds from Terence Weber on his last 2.5 kilometres and gave teammate Noa Mraz a comfortable lead on Germany’s Paul Hanf. Norwegian Harald Riiber had even dropped to +47.6 seconds, a lot of time to make up for his younger brother and double Junior World Champion Jarl Riiber.
At the last exchange, the final Austrian skier Paul Gerstgraser already knew he had a good chance of winning the competition. Noa Mraz sent him out on the track with a head start of 29.5 seconds, a very promising situation for one of the fastest skiers of the field. But with Jakob Lange closing for the German team, another strong skier was in hot pursuit. Norwegian final skier Lars Buraas had 59.4 seconds to make up as Jarl Riiber had lost more time on his leg of the race. But 2.5 kilometres before the finish, the race was decided: Jakob Lange did not make up any time but fell back to 40.1 seconds and also Lars Buraas dropped to +1:06.7 of time behind.
In the end, Gerstgraser triumphantly skied into the finish, snatching up the gold for his team. Silver and bronze went to Germany and Norway, even though Jakob Lange had skied an incredibly fast last lap, shortening the distance to the winners to only 16 seconds. Ranks four and five went to Finland and France.