Maciej Kot in a league of his own
The final competition of the FIS Summer Grand Prix 2016 was the most difficult. The 6000 spectators saw a competition under constantly changing wind conditions and partly heavy rain on the HS 140 hill in the Vogtland-Arena in Klingenthal.
But there was one athlete that even the extremely difficult conditions couldn't stop: Maciej Kot, the outstanding ski jumper of the 2016 summer season. The Pole was unimpressed by the weather conditions and took a clear win in the final event of the Grand Prix.
Kot incredibly consistent
Kot already had a lead of 18.1 points over the second-placed athlete after his first jump of 140 m. In the final the 25-year-old from the club AZS Zakopane left no doubt that he is currently the best ski jumper. Maciej Kot also had the longest jump in the second round (143.5 m) and with 283.3 points he came in 28.8 points ahead of his teammate Kamil Stoch (131 m and 132 m; 254.5 points).
The fact that Kot finished at least second in all the competitions he took part in this summer shows how strong he was. At the end he won the overall title with 580 points, followed by Andreas Wellinger (351 points) and Kamil Stoch (315 points).
"This was a great day and a great summer for me. Today I had 5 jumps (training, qualification and competition) over 140 m. I enjoyed it and I hope the fans did as well. Now I'm looking forward to the winter, the Grand Prix is actually only a training on a high level. Our main goal is the winter", said Kot.
His teammate Stoch is also optimistic when it comes to the big goal of the Polish athletes after this great day for the team. "The result today is very good and important, but we are focusing on the winter. We are on the right track", said Stoch.
Like on the day before in Hinzenbach, Peter Prevc of Slovenia was third. Prevc jumped on 123 m and 135 m (253.5 points) and missed the second place by the small margin of only one point.
Eisenbichler top - Wellinger strong
Markus Eisenbichler was as strong as expected today. He was the best German in fifth. The 25-year-old Bavarian confirmed his great shape over the past weeks, when he was a serial winner in the FIS Continental Cup and took the overall title of this series. Besides Eisenbichler, Severin Freund (12th), Andreas Wellinger (15th), who finished second in the Grand Prix overall ranking, and Stephan Leyhe in 18th showed convincing performances. Richard Freitag and Karl Geiger were 21st and 28th.
The fourth place went to Austrian Stefan Kraft, who was one of three Austrians in the final (Michael Hayboeck was 14th, Manuel Fettner 24th). So there's still a lot of work left to do for head coach Heinz Kuttin in order to get his team in a top shape for the winter season.
Team CAN/USA achieved yet another strong result with the sixth place of Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes. Will Rhoads could also score some Grand Prix points in 24th. Kevin Bickner closely missed the final round in 31st.
Dawid Kubacki completed the oustanding team result of Poland in seventh.
One question now arises among experts after this Grand Prix: Will the Poles be able to remain in this great shape also in the winter season, or will there again be a big difference in their level of performance compared to the summer, like it has been the case in the past years? But many facts indicate that the Polish athletes, under the new head coach Stefan Horngacher, will present themselves strong at the beginning of the World Cup season in November (World Cup opening on November 25th and 26th in Kuusamo/FIN).
World Cup starts in 8 weeks
The teams will now start the final phase of training for the 2016/17 winter season. The season opening in Finland is exactly eight weeks away.