Finnish and Estonian FIS Schüler GP victories in Oberstdorf
Traditionally on the same weekend as the Summer Grand Prix finals, the 13 and 14-year-old future stars of Nordic Combined come together in Oberstdorf for the biggest event of their year: the international FIS Schüler Grand Prix.
65 starters from the seven nations of Finland, Norway, Germany, Austria, Estonia, Slovenia and Czech Republic battled for the coveted title which also entails a prize giving ceremony together with the Summer Grand Prix athletes and getting the trophies handed over by Nordic Combined's top stars.
After the ski jumping part, Otto Nittykoski from Finland was in the lead in the category age 13. He jumped 60 metres on the HS 60 hill in the Erdinger Arena. With 125,7 points, this meant a 1-second lead on Germany's Jakob Fischer who almost set a new hill record with 61,5 metres (125,4 p.) Norwegian Benjamin Ostvold came in third (59,5 m; 122,8 p.) and started with a time disadvantage of 8 seconds on the 4-kilometre roller skiing track.
In the age category 14, Adam Helminger from Germany headed the result list after the ski jumping part. He jumped 59,5 metres and received 122,3 points which gave him a 2-second lead on Slovenia's Timi Zajc for the 6-kilometre race. Helmingers teammate Benedikt Hahne ranked third at the intermediate point, going out on the roller ski track 9 seconds behind the leader.
After the roller ski race, a Finnish sensation became reality: the first four places went to the young athletes from the Northern country, promising a bright future. Perttu Reponen won the S 13 category with a cross-country time of 11:52.8 for the 4 kilometres, enough to make him cross the finish line 25,6 seconds earlier than teammate Waltteri Karhumaa. Rasmus Ähtävä and Otto Nittykoski finished 29,8 and 37,7 seconds after Reponen. The first non-Finnish athlete to cross the finish line was Germany's Jakob Fischer on rank 5. As the competition was also open to girls for the first time, Slovenia's Maja Drinovec scored a 23rd rankd out of 29 starters in an otherwise completely male starting field.
In the S 14 category, Estonian Andreas Ilves, who is World Cup athlete Kristjan Ilves's brother, won ahead of Germany's Nick Siegmund and Wille Karhumaa who set the fastest cross-country time with 14:36.6, improving from an 18th to a third rank. Ozbej and Rok Jelen from Slovenia completed the Top Five.
You can find the full result lists here.