Kamil Stoch challenged by three athletes
Kamil Stoch underlined his ambitions for a second gold medal also in the second training on the large hill. The normal hill Olympic Champion was first, second and third and the three training rounds on Thursday evening.
He showed his best jump already in the first round with 136 m. Severin Freund, Noriaki Kasai and Peter Prevc seem to be the athletes who are hard on his heels.
Prevc, Freund and Kasai top contenders
Prevc, who already took silver on the normal hill, won the third training round with the longest jump of the day on 138.5 m. Freund came in fifth, first and second, he jumped on 135.5 m twice. Veteran Kasai took part in two rounds only and was second and third.
Simon Ammann, double Olympic Champion in Vancouver, was on a good second place in the first round, but he fell after the landing of his second jump and didn't do well in the third round either. Marinus Kraus will have a good chance of competing for the German team on the large hill. In all three rounds he was clearly better than Andreas Wank, who got the spot on the team for the normal hill competition.
Schlierenzauer not among the best
Record World Cup winner Gregor Schlierenzauer still has some work to do if he wants to win the Gold medal in the individual competition. He was seventh, fifth and tenth, partly far behind the top athletes. The bronze medalist of Sunday's competition, Anders Bardal, wasn't jumping that well on the large hill in Sochi. He was only eighth, ninth and 16th and it will be difficult for him to win another medal. Thomas Morgenstern, who is not ruling out a career end after the Olympic Games, was consistently in the Top 20 but will probably not have a chance to win a medal.
The qualification for the second individual competition for the ski jumpers in Sochi will take place on Friday at 6:30 pm CET, the competition will then be held on Saturday.
Statements about the training
Peter Prevc (SLO): "I have a good feeling in the inrun and at the take-off. This large hill is a copy of the normal hill with a longer inrun, that's why I'm getting used to it quite fast. There are many guys who are in a very good shape at the moment. But you don't have to think about the others when you jump, you have to stay focused."
Michael Hayboeck (AUT): "I'm quite satisfied. The first jump was not perfect so I changed something in the inrun for the second one. I was a bit late at the take-off, but that doesn't matter. I didn't need a third jump. Kamil Stoch is in a super form, but you don't want to count out other guys like Schlierenzauer and Kasai. I hope the conditions will be as perfect as today also on the next days."
Simon Ammann (SUI): "The inrun is the difficult part for me. The table is very round towards to end and so it's difficult to say when to push off. If you miss that moment, then you are behind the point of balance and it takes a lot of energy to come back."
Marinus Kraus (GER): "I think to celebrate my birthday we will have a beer and go to sleep. It's my 23rd birthday, so nothing special. I think I have a good chance to get a spot on the team. I jumped very well today and I hope that I can take part in the competition."
Kamil Stoch (POL): "I came to the hill to jump, I didn't want to stay in bed and rest. I didn't suffer serious injuries when I fell. It's painful, but the physiotherapist is doing a good job. These falls happen very often, no reason to panic."
Robert Kranjec (SLO): "In my first jump I didn't know what to expect at the take-off, in the second and third round I tried more. This injury needs five to six weeks to recover and I jumped after five days. This is not normal. I feel pain, because the ligaments in my knee are torn."
Noriaki Kasai (JPN): "I'm doing better on the large hill, because my timing his better. Today I wanted to see how much pain I have in my back. At the last Olympics I was disappointed with my results, but I will try even harder now. I don't feel like 41, more like 26."