Klapfer wins in Finland
Only a few days before the start of the World Championship winter 2008/2009, the Nordic combined training group 1 of the ÖSV has returned to Austria.
On the previous Friday, the team had made a trip to Levi (Finland). North of the polar circle, they held practice sessions in cross-country skiing, accompanied by strength and technique exercises as well as ski tests. Even though the overall conditions were very well, Levi does not have a jumping hill. Therefore, the Austrians took the road to Rovaniemi. On site, they initially were met with green grass and only a partly snow-covered hill. It then took one more day to finish work on the hill and start preparing for ski jumping.
Klapfer wins test competition
On the third day of practice, the Austrian and Finnish national teams conducted a test competition under the new rules. Lukas Klapfer (Eisenerz) won this first trial ahead of Christoph Bieler and Anssi Koivuranta. Head coach Alexander Diess was satisfied with the result: “The contest displayed a high jumping quality. Since only two nations took part, the test is not entirely conclusive. However, I am confident that we are on the right track.”
World Cup team for the start of the season in Kuusamo:
For the events in Trondheim (NOR) on December 6th and 7th, those six athletes will be complemented by Marco Pichlmayer and Tomaz Druml.
Return to Austria on Tuesday
Because the hill in Kuusamo was not yet ready for ski jumping, the Austrian team returned home on Tuesday. Initially they had planned to hold additional training sessions in Kuusamo, where the season’s first two World Cup contests take place on November 29th and November 30th. “Since that was not possible, we decided to leave already on Tuesday. Next week though, we will fly to Kuusamo one day earlier so that we can arrange practice jumps on the large hill. But for now, we will recharge our energy before the season will start off”, says Alexander Diess.
Mario Stecher has not been able to take part in ski jumping so far, but his comeback effort was encouraged by valuable cross-country training. His return to the hills is scheduled for the second week of December, and the team hopes that he will start at the World Cup event in Ramsau on the last weekend before Christmas.
Further, Diess was glad to announce that Bernhard Gruber has successfully overcome his injury and showed great promise in Finland. Christoph Bieler, David Kreiner, Willi Denifl and David Zauner are healthy and already in good shape – nevertheless, the Steyrian Lukas Klapfer outperformed them during a test contest.