The German success story goes on: Björn Kircheisen wins in Almaty
Another day, this time with a little less sun and a little more fog in Almaty and it was time for the first of two Individual Gundersen competitons. Björn Kircheisen from Germany was successful and claimed the top spot on the podium by crossing the finish line 5,3 seconds before his opponents. The Japanese Akito Watabe ranked second, and the bronze rank went to Christoph Bieler from Austria who finished 10,2 seconds later than the winner.
Mario Seidl from Austria reigned supreme in the ski jumping round. The young Austrian took the intermediate rank one by setting a new hill record of 142 metres. With 125,2 points, he was rewarded with 13 seconds of head start before Japan's Taihei Kato was going into the race. The Japanese jumped 134,5 metres (122 p.). Seidl's teammate and fellow jumping expert Christoph Bieler claimed the third rank (133,5 m; 121.3 p.) and had 16 seconds of time disadvantage on the track.
Jan Schmid, Yoshito Watabe and Wolfgang Bösl also had good jumps and went into the cross-country race 22, 30 and 38 seconds behind Seidl. The strong skiers Akito Watabe and Björn Kircheisen were also still lurking in a managable distance behind the leader Seidl. Watabe had to make up 41 seconds of time disadvantage and Kircheisen 58. Norway's Gudmund Storlien had a fall in the outrun after a jump of 127 metres but did not injure himself. He finished 28th after the ski jumping part.
In the cros-country part, Mario Seidl skied a courageous race, leading the pack for about three of the five laps. After that, his followers Christoph Bier and Taihei Kato caught up with him and also Akito Watabe and Björn Kircheisen got closer and closer. Jan Schmid tried to make up some places together with Kircheisen but couldn't go at the same speed as the German. He ultimately finished 11th.
On the last lap, Kircheisen successfully tried to get away from the leading group and stormed around the very demanding cross-country course. Watabe, Bieler and also Kato and Seidl were not able to follow. In the end Kato claimed the unlucky fourth position and Seidl finished at a personal best fifth rank.
You can find the full result list here.
The next chance to claim 100 World Cup points will be tomorrow when the second Individual Gunsersen competition starts with the ski jumping part at 12 o'clock local time. The cross-country race will follow at 15:15 local time.