Team Germany gala performance in Lillehammer
Team Germany delighted their fans with a gala performance in Lillehammer today. Björn Kircheisen, Eric Frenzel, Fabian Rießle and Johannes Rydzek beat Team Norway consisting of Kokslien, Andersen, Klemetsen and Graabak by 31.5 seconds. The Austrian team (Pommer, Seidl, Denifl, Orter) finished one minute and 23 second later.
In the jumping round, all four German athletes showed extremely solid performances, taking the team into the pole position for the race by 13 seconds. Eric Frenzel won his group with 98 metres and 128.9 points, Rießle and Rydzek were second each (101.5 m and 95 metres; 127.9 and 121.4 points) and also Björn Kircheisen was very satisfied with his 99.5 metres and 129.8 points. 508 points in total meant a narrow advantage on the Austrian team which was on start with three young athletes and veteran Willi Denifl.
The Austrians accumulated 498.6 points by 101, 100, 96 and 96-metre jumps set by Denifl, Pommer, Orter and Mario Seidl. On rank three, the Japanese team followed with a little gap at +0:48 seconds after Aguri Shimizu, Hideaki Nagai and Yoshito Watabe had solid jumps and brother Akito shone with the longest jump of the day (ex aequo with Finland’s Eero Hirvonen) of 103 metres.
The Finnish team had a strong day on the hill, taking them to the fourth position, +0:58 seconds behind the Germans while the Norwegian local heroes had to be satisfied with rank five and one minute and four seconds to make up after Mikko Kokslien and especially Jørgen Graabak had struggled with their jumps.
Team Germany was never in any position to have to fight for their victory on the track. From the first lap on, starting skier Björn Kircheisen picked up the pace and increased the distance to the young Austrian skier David Pommer who had started with 13 seconds of time disadvantage and finished with +36.4. Mikko Kokslien brought Team Norway on the third position and teammate Espen Andersen continued the positive trend and closed the gap to the second Austrian skier, Mario Seidl. With a small gap opening up at the end of Andersen’s lap, Håvard Klemetsen extended the lead and worked successfully on securing the silver position, a feat that teammate Jørgen Graabak finished. Austria had to be satisfied with rank three, finishing over a minute after the winners from Germany in the end.
The 2015/16 Nations Cup winners continued with a strong team effort and in the end, Johannes Rydzek even had time for a spectacular jump over the last bump leading into Lillehammer’s cross-country stadium before ending his team’s gala performance with the appropriate bow.
The young team from Finland finished on a great fourth rank, +1:44 behind Germany, continuing the upward trend from Ruka. Japan captured position five, France ended up on the sixth rank.
Ski Jumping Results