Leyhe and Schlierenzauer get to compete in the team event
A day after the exciting individual competition, in which Kamil Stoch could win his third Olympic gold, the final official training of the ski jumpers was held on the large hill in PyeongChang.
Many athletes decided to skip today's three training rounds, for others it was still about securing their spot on the team for Monday's team competition.
Stephan Leyhe was the best in the first two rounds on Sunday evening with jumps of 138 m and 131 m, in the third round he came in third behind hill record holder Ryoyu Kobayashi, who jumped on 134.5 m, and Manuel Fettner of Austria (131 m).
With this very good performance, Stephan Leyhe earned his spot on the German team. The athlete from Willingen will now get his first chance to compete in this Olympic Games.
"Stephan Leyhe's jumps are very stable on this large hill and he showed very good jumps. That's why we chose him over Markus Eisenbichler. Markus was also jumping very well and he was 15th in the individual competition. It was a very close decision. Markus is a little less stable and he was not able to significantly improve his level on the large hill", head coach Werner Schuster explained his decision. Germany will be represented by Karl Geiger, Stephan Leyhe, Richard Freitag and Andreas Wellinger on Monday.
Clemens Aigner, who came in 31st on Saturday, will be replaced by Gregor Schlierenzauer on the Austrian team. Schlierenzauer will compete alongside Stefan Kraft, Manuel Fettner, and Michael Hayboeck. Schlierenzauer was jumping well today and came in ahead of Fettner and Aigner in the first two training rounds with a fourth and second place.
Japanese veteran Noriaki Kasai, who set a new record in PyeongChang with participating in his eighth Olympic Games, could present himself a lot better today than in yesterday's competition when he failed to qualify for the final in 33rd. The 45-year-old was third, fourth and seventh today with consistent jumps of 129.5 m, 129 m, and 127.5 m and will be on the Japanese team together with Daiki Ito, Taku Takeuchi and Ryoyu Kobayashi.
The team of Norway remains unchanged after the great performance in the individual competition with four athletes among the best eight. Robert Johansson, Daniel Andre Tande, Johann Andre Forfang and Andreas Stjernen are the favorites for the last Ski Jumping gold in PyeongChang.
Besides Germany, the Poles are also considered among the top contenders. The team of head coach Stefan Horngacher will consist of Maciej Kot, Stefan Hula, Dawid Kubacki and Kamil Stoch.