Kamil Stoch fights back in Sapporo
Kamil Stoch of Poland won the second FIS Ski Jumping World Cup competition in Sapporo. With a strong final jump, Stoch was able to come in ahead of half-time leader Andreas Wellinger. 137.5 m and 140 m (262.7 point) Kamil Stoch took a relatively clear win ahead of Andreas Wellinger (140.5 m and 132 m; 255.3 points). Stefan Kraft of Austria repeated his third place from the day before with jumps of 137 m and 139 m. Markus Eisenbichler fell in the final, didn't suffer any injuries and still finished in the Top 10. The competition took place under difficult wind conditions.
Stoch was able to solve the problems he had in Saturday's event over night and celebrated his 21st win in the World Cup. "Today was a much better day for me. Yesterday I had some problems, especially in the air, today everything worked well and so I could jump much better."
On Saturday Stoch lost some ground in the fight for the overall title with his 18th place, today he was able to extend his lead again. "Actually I'm not afraid to lose the yellow bib. I don't really care if I get to wear it or not. I'm just trying to have fun. I know how hard it is to be where I am now and how much work is necessary in order to remain on this level. I know nothing about the hill in PyeongChang, I have never been there before. I think it will be a new and very good experience", Stoch said with a look towards the next venue.
Second-placed Andreas Wellinger is still in a top shape and missed his third win in the World Cup only by a few points. "In the first round I had head wind in the final part of the jump so I got to fly. In the second round I think that my jump was okay as well, but I only had head wind after the take off. The conditions are often changing here and you have to deal with it. I'm satisfied with today's competition, even though the conditions were difficult. When you look at the result list and see that, for example, Maciej Kot had - 26 points and I had only - 9 points, then that makes a big difference", said Wellinger.
Stefan Kraft in third was also completely satisfied with his second podium finish this weekend. "I'm totally satisfied. The competition was not easy, so you also need luck to be on the podium and I'm happy that I had it. My jumps were also really good, especially the second one today was amazing. It was a lot of fun. I have never been to South Korea and so I'm looking forward to going there. I heard that the hill there is very nice. Hopefully the weather and the conditions will be good for the Olympic test events."
Saturday's winner Maciej Kot was fourth and provided yet another fantastic result for the Polish team. Daniel Andre Tande could also be satisfied again with his performance. He was the best Norwegian in fifth. Peter Prevc, one of two winners yesterday, finished sixth on Sunday and showed another strong performance. Peter Prevc is obviously on his way back to his best shape and definitely one of the top contenders for the upcoming Nordic World Championships.
Norway's Robert Johansson always proves to be an expert for difficult conditions. He came in seventh, ahead of the best Japanese, Daiki Ito, who was followed by Markus Eisenbichler and crowd favorite Vincent Descombes Sevoie of France.
Moment of shock for Eisenbichler
Markus Eisenbichler, who was in a good position after the first round, provided a short moment of shock with a crash after the landing: "My chest hurts a bit, but apart from that I'm feeling fine. Actually I was pretty satisfied with my jump, but such mistakes happen. I'm still satisfied with the competition, I had to good jumps at the take-off and I'm happy about that", Eisenbichler explained after his good jump, that ended with a crash due to a mistake after the landing.
Swiss Simon Ammann will probably also be happy with how this weekend went for him. After an eleventh place on Saturday he finished 14th on Sunday. The four-time Olympic champion finally shows an upward trend again.
Kamil Stoch now leads the overall World Cup with 1180 points ahead of Stefan Kraft (1040 points) and Norway's Daniel Andre Tande (1034 points), who is now third.
The World Cup continues on Wednesday and Thursday with the Olympic test events in PyeongChang (KOR).