Fiemme 2014 Team Gold goes to Austria
At the grand final of the FIS Junior World Championships in Val di Fiemme 2014, the team from Austria has also grabbed the last gold medal. Bernhard Flaschberger, Martin Fritz, Fabian Steindl and Philipp Orter showed a convincing performance and crossed the finish line 4.5 seconds before the silver medallists from Germany. Bronze went to the team from Norway who arrived at the finish one minute and twelve seconds after the winners.
In the tight ski jumping round, the Austrian team around two-time Junior World Champion managed to grab the lead. Fritz, Steindl, Flaschberger and Orter performed on high level with jumps of 96, 97.5, 89.5 and 91 metres which gave them a total of 466.3 points and a lead of 20 seconds over team Finland. Ville Heikkinen, Arttu Aalander, Marcus Torni and Arttu Mäkiaho accumulated 451.2 points, exactly one point more than the team from Germany who started one second behind Finland in the cross-country race.
Terence Weber, Dominik Schwaar, Jakob Lange and yesterday's silver medallist David Welde showed four solid jumps and so the first three teams started within 21 seconds. On rank four, the team from Norway was also still in striking distance with 58 seconds of time behind and lightning-fast skier Sindre Pettersen as the first athlete up in the race. Fellow fast skier Hugo Buffard landed on a second-but-last rank with his French team and had to fight a time behind of +2:08. The team from the United States of America delivered a good job on the hill, giving them an intermediate sixth rank with a time behind of 01:20, making Norway, Japan on rank five and USA on rank six into the second group of pursuers, together with the Polish team on rank 7 with +01:22.
At first, it looked like Austria would ski a clear win into the finish as fast skier Bernhard Flaschberger managed to gain time on the competitors from Germany, Finland and Norway who caught up to the front with Sindre Pettersen. During the second leg, Martin Fritz defended the lead but Finland's Ville Heikkinen had to let go of Terence Weber and Jarl Riiber from Norway so that the fight for the positions was on between Germany, Norway and Austria.
Jakob Lange upped the tension in the race tremendously as he managed to catch Austria's Fabian Steindl on the third leg and even established a narrow lead over the Austrians. Norway's Siegmund Kielland lost track of Lange and Steindl and from then on, the fight was on between eternal rivals Austria and Germany for the gold. Like on the two last day, the final fight was on between David Welde and Philipp Orter with Orter having the better end like before. With a very strong attack on the last uphill, Orter decided the race and again, Welde did not have the strength to follow.
Finland ended up on the fourth place, France skied from rank nine to a strong fifth position and Russia finished sixth.