30th win in the World Cup for Kamil Stoch
Kamil Stoch of Poland took his 30th win in the World Cup on Friday at the season finale in Planica. In the first of three Ski Flying competitions in Slovenia, Stoch came in ahead of Norway's Johann Andre Forfang and Stefan Kraft of Austria. Johann Andre Forfang leads the Planica 7 ranking after three of the seven jumps.
Kamil Stoch won the first competition in Planica with 245 m and 234 m and 455.9 points, ahead of Johann Andre Forfang (452.2 points) and Stefan Kraft (443.0 points). For Stoch, who already claimed this winter's overall World Cup title, this was the eighth win this season, the 30-year-old already won in Planica in 2011.
"It was a really good day for me, but also for my teammates, especially for Dawid, who was ninth. It was really nice to fly. I like this hill, it's my favorite, and it's always nice to be here. It's great that I can jump here without a lot of pressure, I just came here with a smile on my face and with the goal to have some great flights and fly as far as possible", explained Stoch, who has won almost everything this winter. Only at the Ski Flying World Championships in Oberstdorf (GER), Norway's Daniel Andre Tande took the title ahead of Stoch.
The second place today went to the winner of Thursday's qualification, Johann Andre Forfang of Norway. "It's one of my favorite hills, I achieved most of my podiums here. Most of my jumps are pretty good right now, but Kamil is in such a good shape that it's really hard to beat him. It's still early in the Planica 7, we have four more jumps left. My goal is to compete at a high level, like yesterday and today, and then we'll see", said Forfang, who leads the Planica 7 with 23.6 points ahead of Stoch.
Stefan Kraft of Austria came in third: "I'm really satisfied with the first competition here. It's a lot of fun to be here and I think it's the world's best hill. The Olympics were disappointing for me and I wanted to end this season with better performances and I was able to achieve some great results. The last few days of the season are always exhausting, but we enjoy it." For the athlete from Salzburg, this was the seventh podium finish this winter, his fifth third place.
On his 28th birthday, Robert Johansson, who won in Vikersund last weekend, came in fourth and Anders Fannemel was the third-best of the strong Norwegians in fifth. Andreas Stjernen was eighth. The team achieved this great result even though Daniel Andre Tande failed to qualify for this competition on Thursday.
The two Kobayashi brothers of Japan showed a strong performance as well. Junshiro and Ryoyu finished seventh and 13th. Noriaki Kasai in eleventh completed the top result for the Team Nippon.
Veteran Robert Kranjec of Slovenia and his teammate Jurij Tepes presented themselves very strong in tenth and 12th.
Slovenia's Anze Semenic was disqualified because his suit did not meet the rules.
After three of seven jumps, Johann Forfang leads the Planica 7 with 695.6 points, followed by Kamil Stoch (672 points) and Robert Johansson (653.9 points). Richard Freitag is fourth (652.2 points), ahead of Stefan Kraft (646.3 points).
The second competition of the weekend, the team event, will start on Saturday at 10 am CET.