Difficult start for Austria
For the Austrian team of the new head coach Andreas Felder, the first two weekends of the FIS Grand Prix 2018 didn't go perfectly.
After the first competitions of the season, Stefan Kraft is the best Austrian in the GP overall ranking in 13th. The 25-year-old was also the best athlete of his team in both individual competitions in 10th and 16th. In the team event in Wisla, the Austrians came in only sixth.
This is not good enough to meet the high expectations within the Austrian Ski Association and the new head for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined, Mario Stecher, is well aware of that.
"I see some good starting points, for example, Gregor Schlierenzauer's fourth place in training in Hinterzarten, or the great jump of Stefan Kraft in the second round in Wisla. But it also must be made clear, that, all in all, this it is not enough. When we were analyzing the last season, we realized that our athletes are making mistakes when it comes to the technique, we are definitely not talking about the equipment here. We have to work on ourselves and that's what we do. Right now we are in a phase, where you might have to take one step back before there can be a positive development again. This is absolutely clear. I'm optimistic and hope we can get back on the right track until the winter", said the former Nordic Combined skier.
Michael Hayboeck, who was not participating in Hinterzarten, will join the team again for the upcoming FIS Grand Prix in Einsiedeln (SUI) this weekend. Manuel Fettner, is currently training with the Nordic Combined team in Lillehammer and plans not to compete again until early September.
In Switzerland, Austria will be represented by Clemens Aigner, Michael Hayboeck, Daniel Huber, Stefan Huber, Andreas Kofler, Stefan Kraft, and Gregor Schlierenzauer.