Takanabe beats Riiber in first PCR of the winter
Japan's Takehiro Watanabe has taken the first ski jumping victory of the season. The 23-year-old showed the longest jump of the day with 131.5 metres and topped the result list with 136.8 points. Should the PCR have to be used in the case of bad weather conditions, this would mean a 27-second head start on the jumping dominator of the summer, Jarl Magnus Riiber who was not fully in tune with the hill yet. The 19 year-old jumped 128.5 metres which meant 103.1 points. Third was Finnish local hero Ilkka Herola. With 128.5 metres and 129.2 points, he would start 30 seconds behind Watanabe.
In tail wind conditions, the jumping wasn't always easy but a group of young athletes impressed with top ten jumps: Franz-Josef Rehrl, Philipp Orter, Mario Seidl and Eero Hivronen ranked fourth - seventh with time behind between 50 seconds and one minute an 18 seconds. Established athletes like Marjan Jelenko and World Champion Berni Gruber struggled and while Jelenko did not make the cut of the Top 50, Gruber was just saved by his top ten pre-qualified status after his 91.5 metre-jump. Overall World Cup winner Eric Frenzel was disqualified due to non irregular equipment. As he is also pre-qualified, Frenzel can start in tomorrow's event but in case the PCR has to be used on the weekend, he does not have a jumping result and is therefore out of the competition.
Athletes that did not make the qualification were Taylor Fletcher, Bernhard Flaschberger, Jim Härtull, Marjan Jelenko, Matti Herola, Je-Un Park and Samir Mastiev.