German triumph on a difficult day

10 December 2017 19:33
Richard Freitag, Andreas Wellinger
Richard Freitag, Andreas Wellinger -
FIS

Richard Freitag ahead of Andreas Wellinger and Daniel Andre Tande. The result of Sunday's individual competition in Titisee-Neustadt looks as if it was a normal day and a smooth competition. But the second day of the FIS World Cup in the Black Forest was everything but normal and extremely challenging for everyone involved. "I want to thank all the volunteers and everyone who made this competition possible", Andreas Wellinger summed it up after the event.

Day starts with a storm warning

Sunday in Neustadt started with a storm warning for the region, but at first, it wasn't the wind, but the heavy snowfall, that was the main challenge. There was a huge amount of fresh snow in the outrun that had to be taken out. Despite the enormous effort of the organizers, this couldn't have been done without a delay of the schedule and so the jury decided to cancel the trial round and start with the competition right away.

Then it still wasn't possible to start the first round at 3:30 pm due to the strong and gusty wind at the hill. "Too windy, the safety of the athletes can't be guaranteed. The competition can't start", the jury stated and the start was postponed for 20 minutes to 3:50 pm, and then to 4:30 pm. The conditions didn't get better by then and after studying the latest weather forecast it was decided to make one last try at 5 pm.

Jury fights for the competition

The decision to wait and the patience of the jury proved to be right after all. The fans who stayed at the hill despite the heavy rain finally saw an exciting competition, that consisted of only one round and had a well-deserved winner. The competition started at 5 pm and despite some breaks due to the wind, it was good and fair.

Richard Freitag outstanding

World Cup leader Richard Freitag once again showed an outstanding performance. With the longest jump of the day of 145 m (128.4 points) he marked the end of a memorable day of Ski Jumping. "At the beginning, I was skeptical whether the competition can take place because there was so much snow when we arrived at the hill. But the organizers did a great job preparing the hill and the wind conditions got better as well. It was a good competition. The hill was well prepared so congratulations to everyone who helped here", said Richard Freitag.

Andreas Wellinger jokes around - Daniel Tande watches soccer

Only 1.6 points behind Richard Freitag, Andreas Wellinger came in second with 139.5 m. Only a week about their 1-2 finish in Nizhny Tagil, the new dream team set another highlight for the Germans. "We trained hard during summer and we have a competition within our team that motivates us to do even better and make progress. During the long wait we tried to relax, stay active and joked around so the time passed by quickly for us. I know that my teammates are in a good shape and we push each other", explained Andreas Wellinger.

The third place went to Norway's Daniel Andre Tande after another strong performance. Tande jumped of 135.5 m and scored 122.5 points. "During the long wait I watched the soccer game Everton vs. Liverpool, so I wasn't bored. I knew that today we would have difficult conditions, but I didn't worry about it too much. Ski Jumping is an outdoor sport and the conditions can never be 100 % fair. All in all the jury did a good job and we had a nice competition", said Tande.

Junshiro Kobayashi, who won in Wisla earlier this season, was the best Japanese in fourth, followed by Tande's teammate Robert Johansson. The third Norwegian, Johann Andre Forfang, was seventh and completed the top team result. Best Pole was Kamil Stoch in sixth. Dawid Kubacki (11th) and Stefan Hula (13th) jumped well again, but couldn't achieve a top result.

Constantin Schmid provides the surprise of the day

18-year-old Constantin Schmid, who was named to the team by head coach Werner Schuster instead of David Siegel, provided the surprise of the day. Schmid seized the opportunity, finished eighth and probably earned his spot on the German team for the upcoming World Cup weekend in Engelberg (SUI).

Noriaki Kasai scores

Veteran Noriaki Kasai of Japan finally scored his first World Cup points this season. The 45-year-old came in on a great tenth place and provided a strong result for the Japanese team.

Richard Freitag now leads the overall World Cup with a total of 390 points, followed by Andreas Wellinger (319 points) and Daniel Andre Tande (280 points).

The Ski Jumping World Cup continues next weekend with two individual competitions in Engelberg (SUI).

Full results