Johann Andre Forfang and Sofia Tikhonova win Gold at Junior World Championships
The first ski jumping competitions at this year's Junior World Championships in Almaty (KAZ) were held on Thursday with the men's and ladies' individual events.
In an exciting competition the men's title went to Johann Andre Forfang of Norway. The 19-year-old posted jumps on 101.5 m and 103 m on the normal hill and took the win with a total of 269.9 points. "It's fantastic. I had two very good jumps and could finish first. I would love to take part in competitions here again", said the newly crowned World Champion.
Only 0.5 points behind the winner, Andreas Wellinger won the Silver medal with 99 m and 101 m. So the German made a successful comeback after a long break due to injury and even showed the best performance in today's final round. "It's a very good day, full of positive emotions. I hope I can show my best performance again in the next competition, then we'll see who has the best team."
The third place also went to the strong Norwegian team. Phillip Sjoeen took the bronze medal with two jumps on 99.5 m and 266.0 points. "It feels great, this is a good result for me, but I know I still have a lot of work to do."
Japanese Yukiya Sato came in fourth, followed by Austrian Simon Greiderer, who was second after the first round only 0.4 points behind the leader Forfang. Kilian Peier of Switzerland finished sixth, Joacim Oedegaard Bjoereng completed the strong team result of the Norwegians with his seventh place.
A very good result was also achieved by Czech Viktor Polasek, who already showed strong performances in training and confirmed this with the eighth place in this competition. Also among the Top 10 were Austrian Elias Tollinger and the best of the Polish team, Przemyslaw Kantyka.
The two Slovenes Anze Lanisek and Cene Prevc, both considered top contestants for a medal, finishied eleventh and twelfth in this tight field of competitors.
Next Gold for Tikhonova
About a week after her win at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Tschagguns (AUT), Sofia Tikhonova won her next Gold medal in Almaty. The 16-year-old Russian won the competition with two jumps on 95.5 m and 227.5 points. "I'm very happy about this Gold medal. I like this venue because I feel comfortable here and it's not the first time that I'm jumping on this hill", said the new Junior World Champion.
The other two medals went to Austria. Elisabeth Raudaschl won Silver with 93.5 m and 93 m and 221.7 points. "It's unbelievable what I was able to achieve today and that I'll get the Silver medal tonight. I came to Almaty without any expectations. When I was second-to-last at the start in the final round I was nervous, but then I was able to also show a good second jump."
Her teammate Chiara Hoelzl was only sixth after her first jump on 93.5 m, but with the longest jump of the day on 96 m she moved up to third (217.4 points). "Unfortunately I didn't jump as good as in training. I would have been able to do even better, but winning a medal is good. I'm satisfied with this result."
Slovenia's Ursa Bogataj had bad luck today. With 94 m she was on the podium after the first round, but she was not able to defend her third place against the Austrian and missed the podium by only 0.2 points.
The two Norwegians Anna Odine Stroem and Silje Opseth followed in fifth and sixth, behind Yuka Seto of Japan (7th), Pauline Hessler was the best German in eighth. Her teammate Gianina Ernst, one of the favorites in this competition, came in tenth, behind Russia's Mariia Iakovleva.