Norway makes it three this season
The Ski Jumping winter continues as exciting as it started in Wisla (POL), Ruka (FIN) and Nizhny Tagil (RUS). The athletes of Norway took their third win in the third team competition this season. On Saturday they came in close ahead (0.8 points) of the team of Poland and Germany finished third in Titisee-Neustadt (GER).
Once again a tight team performance was the key to success for the Norwegians. For the team of head coach Alexander Stoeckl, with Robert Johansson, Daniel Andre Tande, Anders Fannemel and Johann Andre Forfang, this was the third win this season, the fifth in a row and the 21st overall in the World Cup. This makes the Norwegians the top contenders for the Olympic team competition in PyeongChang on February 19th, 2018. "I like this hill a lot, it's perfect for me and I love to jump here. My first jump here was not so good and I tried to change some things before the final jump. I focused too much on making those adjustments and it made me too tense. But I'm happy that it ended the way it did", said Norway's Johann Andre Forfang.
Team Poland close behind the winners
Poland came in only 0.8 points behind Norway today. The Polish team (Piotr Zyla, Maciej Kot, Dawid Kubacki and Kamil Stoch) also showed an extremely tight team performance and 0.8 points is such tiny margin that the competition should have had two winners. Dawid Kubacki showed an amazing jump of 141.5 m in the first round, but it could have been even farther. "In my first jump, I knew right from the beginning that it will be a long one. I did everything right during the first part of the flight, but then I was too aggressive and there was not enough air to jump farther. That caused problems with the landing. It was fun to fly that far. For us this is not a defeat, the second place is really great and we showed that we are a very strong team", said Kubacki.
Germany not consistent enough
The Germans, who many considered to be the top favorites today, presented themselves strong, but compared to Norway and Poland they were not strong enough as a team. They finished third, about 30 points behind Poland. While Andreas Wellinger and Richard Freitag showed top jumps, Markus Eisenbichler and Karl Geiger could not jump on the level that would have been necessary to win. At the end, the third place is a good result for the team of head coach Werner Schuster. "We did not feel any pressure, it was maybe created by the media, but it did not affect us. The competition was tough and not all of us jumped as well as we could. Only two of us made really good jumps. But we are happy with this third place because we could beat such strong teams as Austria and Slovenia", explained Markus Eisenbichler.
The Slovenes showed their best performance so far this season and came in fourth, but they were already more than 40 points behind the Germans. The Austrians had to be satisfied with the fifth place today, close behind Slovenia. Once again Stefan Kraft was the best Austrian and even if the result might not be good news for the Austrian team, the comeback of Gregor Schlierenzauer definitely was. And "Schlieri" did well after his break due to injury.
The sixth place went to the team of Japan around Noriaki Kasai, who presented himself in a very good shape. Finland came in seventh and they really deserved their place in the final round, so today's result is definitely a success for them. The Swiss team around Simon Ammann was eighth.
With today's win, Norway took the lead in the Nations Cup. The Norwegians (1802 points) are leading the ranking ahead of Germany (1772 points) and Poland (1315 points).
The individual competition in Titisee-Neustadt takes place on Sunday at 3:30 pm CET.