Anders Bardal wins qualification at 4-Hills opener
Norway's Anders Bardal won the first qualification of the 62nd 4-Hills-Tournament in Oberstdorf with a jump on 134 m.
With 153.9 points the World Champion had a lead of 2.7 points over 41-year-old Noriaki Kasai of Japan, who jumped one meter farther under a slightly better conditions. The third place went to Swiss Simon Ammann with 131.5 m and 150.8 points. After the qualification Anders Bardal was already looking ahead: "The training wasn't perfect, in the qualification it went very well. I'm excited and looking forward to tomorrow."
Young Austrian Thomas Diethart, who was in the lead for a while after his jump on 135 m, finished fourth, 0.2 points behind Ammann. Slovenia's Peter Prevc (148.7 points) came in fifth, followed by the top favorites Kamil Stoch (6th) and Gregor Schlierenzauer (7th). Only two weeks after his serious fall in Titisee-Neustadt, Thomas Morgenstern could also show a good performance and came in eighth.
Severin Freund was the best German in ninth. With Andreas Kofler in 11th, and Wolfgang Loitzl (16th), Anders Jacobsen (17th) and Janne Ahonen (18th) four former 4-Hills-Tournament winners managed to qualify. Czech Jakub Janda, winner of 2006, was 52nd and missed to qualify by only 1.1 points, his teammate Lukas Hlava was 50th.
Also Martin Schmitt made the cut for the competition in his first appearance in the World Cup this season. He was 49th and will have to compete with Noriaki Kasai in the K.O. duel in the first round of Sunday's competition.
Lukas Hlava will be the opponent of today's winner Anders Bardal. Also Simon Ammann has a doable task in facing Finland's Jarkko Maeaettae a day after his 19th birthday. World Cup leader Kamil Stoch jumps against Anssi Koivuranta, defending champion Gregor Schlierenzauer faces Czech Cestmir Kozisek.