Kubacki, Fettner and Eisenbichler strong in training
After it was impossible to carry out the first men's official training on the normal hill at the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in Lahti (FIN) on Wednesday due to the strong wind, all three training rounds could take place on Thursday.
In the first round, Dawid Kubacki of Poland had the best jump with 92.5 m. Only his teammate Maciej Kot with 93.5 m and Johann Andre Forfang of Norway with 93 m jumped a bit farther than the 26-year-old, but both had a bit better wind conditions during their jumps than Kubacki.
Austrian Manuel Fettner, fourth in the first round, then showed the best performance in the second round with 97 m. With overall World Cup leader Kamil Stoch, one of the top favorites for the competitions in Lahti, jumped only 0.5 m shorter. Maciej Kot did very well again with 95 m, Germany's Markus Eisenbichler and Taku Takeuchi of Japan also landed at 95 m.
Markus Eisenbichler posted the longest jump of the day of 98.5 m in the third and final round of this training session. With very good jumps of Stephan Leyhe (second with 98 m) and Andreas Wellinger, fourth behind Austria's Michael Hayboeck (95.5 m) with 93 m, the day ended on a high note for the German team.
Peter Prevc of Slovenia could also show a convincing performance on Thursday evening and finished fifth in the second and third round with his jumps of 94.5 m and 97.5 m. Stefan Kraft of Austria, bronze medalist behind Rune Velta (NOR) and Severin Freund (GER) on the normal hill at the last WSC in Falun 2015, was 18th, 13th and 7th and still has some room for improvement. The same applies for Norway's Daniel Andre Tande who came in 14th, 19th and 12th.
Forfang and Schlierenzauer on the team
Even though Domen Prevc didn't show good jumps today and was only 56th, 64th and 57th, the 17-year-old, who is currently fourth in the overall World Cup, is one of four Slovenes (Cene Prevc, Jernej Damjan, Peter Prevc, Domen Prevc) who head coach Goran Janus named to his team for the first competition on Saturday.
Gregor Schlierenzauer will also be participating in Friday's qualification and represent Austria together with Manuel Fettner, Stefan Kraft and Michael Hayboeck. Markus Schiffner and Andreas Kofler will have to wait for their chance on the large hill.
After a few weeks break from competition, Johann Andre Forfang secured his place on the Norwegian team for the first event at the WSC alongside Daniel Andre Tande, Andreas Stjernen and Robert Johansson with his performance in today's training.
For Germany, Stephan Leyhe came in ahead of Karl Geiger. Markus Eisenbichler, Richard Freitag and Andreas Wellinger had already secured their spot on the team before the official training.
The qualification for the individual competition on the normal hill will take place on Friday at 1:30 pm CET.