COC: Norwegian double victory in Engelberg
The Christmas break is already over again: Nine days after the World Cup, Engelberg (SUI) now hosts a Ski Jumping Continental Cup event. On Tuesday evening, the first of two competitions there became a duel of the teams from Norway and Slovenia.
Under difficult and changing wind conditions on the Titlis-hill, the Norwegians could secure a double victory. Halvor Egner Granerud, fourth after the first half of the competition, won with 128 m and the longest jump of the day of 142.5 m in the final and 302.5 points. "There were a lot of breaks during the second round so it was hard to stay focused but I was able to do that and had a really great jump. Maybe it was my best jumps this winter. After the first round it was really tight, so I was confident that I could climb up the list. Now I'm very happy that I could climb all the way up", said the winner.
Granerud's teammate Joakim Aune was in the lead after the first round with 136.5 m, his second jump of 131 m and 296.7 points were then good enough for the second place and the first ever podium finish in the COC for the 23-year-old. "Our team didn't that well in Kuusamo, but today was our day. I don't want to change anything for tomorrow, I just have to focus on my jumping and then it might work out as well as today", said Joakim Aune.
Also the only 17-year-old Aljaz Osterc came in among the Top 3 in a Continental Cup competition for the first time. The Slovene showed jumps of 134.5 m and 129.5 m and was third with 287.3 points. "My first jump was really good, but in the second one I made a small mistake. I'm very happy with the result. I was a bit lucky with the conditions, but I also performed very well."
The outstanding team result of Norway was completed by Johann Andre Forfang in fourth, Sigurd Nymoen Soeberg in sixth and Joacim Oedegaard Bjoereng in ninth.
Nejc Dezman in fifth, Miran Zupancic in seventh and Tilen Bartol (11th) made sure that Aljaz Osterc was not the only athlete from Slovenia among the best today.
Clemens Aigner of Austria finished eighth and was the best ski jumper not representing Norway or Slovenia. His teammate Stefan Huber, only 26th after the first round, moved up to tenth overall with the third-best performance in the final round.
Slovenia's Cene Prevc still leads the overall ranking with his 280 points, followed by the two Austrians Elias Tollinger (239 points) and Florian Altenburger (237 points).