Faisst goes for third JWSC gold with the German team
Manuel Faisst is the most successful competitor in the Nordic Junior World Championship in Liberec. The German led his team to triumph in the team competition and won his third gold medal. The Austrian athletes will be taking home a silver medal, and the Japanese team’s hard work has earned them bronze.
Thirteen four-member teams took part in the Nordic Combined team competition on the
HS 100 hill on Ještěd. Their greatest opponent, however, was the strong gusty wind that complicated the whole competition. The most consistent performance was by the Japanese quartet Sonehara, Yamamoto, Horigorne and Watanabe, which soon took the lead. The hot favourites of the competition – the German team headed by the twice world champion Manuel Faisst – set off on the trail with the 19-second time-penalty behind them.
The favourite Germans - Schuller, Lange, Welde and Faisst – soon caught up with the Japanese in the 4 x 5 km cross-country race and managed to develop a decisive lead. “We are thrilled. We confirmed that we had prepared well for this competition. We made a good team effort and it brought us first place. This is an unbelievable success,” the nineteen-year-old Michel Schuller rejoiced after the finish.
The Austrians (Rehrl, Gerstgraser, Joebstl, and Orter) were sixth after the ski-jumping. Nevertheless, they erased their time-penalty and gradually overtook the French, Russians, Poles and Japanese. “The second place is fantastic! It was a very demanding competition which makes us all the more excited about such success. Our jumps were not that great, but we all skied well and managed to catch up on our time-penalty. It is a beautiful feeling,” Austrian Paul Gerstgraser, not concealing his pleasure.
Nevertheless, the Japanese Nordic combined athletes were probably the happiest. After the finish, they were jumping for joy and one of them was even crying tears of happiness. “We are really happy and excited,“ whooped Go Sonehara.