Michael Hayboeck celebrates his first win this season
Michael Hayboeck won the first of two individual competitions in Lahti. In the competition, which was in the calendar for the World Cup event that couldn't take place in Ruka, the Austrian jumped on 128 m and 129 m and scored a total of 265.4 points. He came in ahead of Norway's Daniel Andre Tande and Severin Freund and took his second win in the World Cup.
Hayboeck said afterwards: "I'm a patient person, this helped me now. I've been second a few times, there was always Peter Prevc, who was jumping even better. I expected it to be like that also today. I think that the Slovenes made a little mistake with lowering the gate for Peter and I benefited from that. I'm more than happy that I could win. Recently I had a bit of a negative trend. Such a success on the hill, where the World Championships are held next week is the best thing that can happen."
Janus speculated and lost
What Hayboeck was referring to: Coach Goran Janus decided to move down the inrun gate for the final jump of his athlete Peter Prevc, who could then not reach the necessary distance in order to get the compensation points. With half a meter more the Slovene would have stood on top of the podium. So Prevc finished only fifth with jumps on 128 m and 123 m and a total of 258.7 points.
Second podium for Tande
Daniel Andre Tande achieved his second podium result this season with jumps on 126.5 m and 127 m and 263.0 points. Tande said: "I was on the podium various times already with the team, I don't have that much experience with it in individual events. I'm happy that my shape is getting better and better. We don't expect to win tomorrow. You can never expect anything in ski jumping, there are so many factors involved."
Freund back on top
Severin Freund was on the podium for the first time in seven competitions with 125 m and 128 m and 259.5 points. Freund said: The second jump was quite good, maybe with a small mistake after the take-off. All in all it went perfectly for me. It's been a while since my last podium result. On Sunday it might get interesting with the weather conditions, but you never know what it will be like in Finland. I'm looking forward to it."
Kenneth Gangnes came in fourth, only 0.3 points behind the German with his jumps on 127.5 m and 127 m.
Behind Peter Prevc, Johann Andre Forfang (255.0 points) and Anders Fannemel (245.8 points) in sixth and eighth provided the next outstanding team result for Norway. Noriaki Kasai was the best of the Japanese in seventh with 246.6 points. Roman Koudelka achieved a strong result for the Czech team in ninth with 245.5 points, Daiki Ito confirmed his good shape and was tenth with 244.2 points.
Three Japanese in the Top 15
Behind Stefan Kraft and Richard Freitag, Taku Takeuchi was 13th and the third Japanese in the Top 15. Stefan Hula was the best of the Polish team in 14th. Joachim Hauer came in on a very good 15th place, followed by the best Swiss, Simon Ammann. Robert Kranjec made amends for missing to qualify for final in Vikersund and was the second-best Slovene in 19th. Andrzej Stekala, Klemens Muranka and Kamil Stoch scored points for Poland on the places 21 to 23. Vincent Descombes Sevoie was 30th and scored at least one World Cup point for France.
On Saturday at 4:30 pm CET a team competition will be held on the hill, where next year's World Championships will take place.