COC-M: Tomasz Pilch surprises in season opener
This weekend the Ski Jumping Continental Cup starts its 2017/18 winter season. The first two competitions are held on the 2010 Olympic hill in the Whistler Olympic Park in Canada.
The first competition of the winter ended with a huge surprise. Tomasz Pilch of Poland jumped on 102.5 m and 101 m on the HS 106 and finished on top of the podium for the first time ever in a COC with 267.7 points. The 17-year-old took part in only four Continental Cup competitions before this weekend, his best result until today was the 37th place in September 2016 on his home hill in Wisla. "It was a good competition with a strong field and I'm happy that I performed well. I love Canada", said the happy winner.
After the first round, Philipp Aschenwald tied for first with Tomasz Pilch with his 101 m jump. With 100.5 m in the final and a total of 266.2 points, the Austrian came in second, close behind the winner. He was still very satisfied with the day: "My jumps are getting better. It's a really nice hill. It's my first time in Canada and it's nice to be here. The weather was awesome for the competition."
Marius Lindvik of Norway, sixth at half time with 97 m, showed a jump of 100.5 m in the second round and ended up on third place with 264.0 points. With this performance, the 19-year-old could celebrate his first ever podium finish in the COC and Whistler seems to be just the right place for him to achieve that: "It is a beautiful place. I love the mountains and Whistler village. It was a great day and a very good competition."
Austria's Elias Tollinger was fourth in this very close competition, followed by the best Slovene, Bor Pavlovcic (5th), and Viktor Polasek of the Czech Republic, who could not defend his third place from the first round and finished sixth, less than three points behind the podium.
Jonathan Learoyd Of France started the season with his first Top 10 result in the COC in seventh, with 102.5 m he had the best jump in the second round. Right behind him, Andreas Wank, silver medalist in the team competition on the large hill at the 2010 Olympics, was the best German today in eighth. Miran Zupancic of Slovenia (9th) and Norwegian Joachim Hauer completed the Top 10 in the season opener.
The second competition in Whistler will start on Sunday at 8 pm CET (11 am LOC).