Norway takes the home win, Kraft the world record
Incredible team competition as part of the RAW AIR Tournament in Vikersund (NOR). On the world's largest Ski Flying hill local hero Robert Johansson was the first to set a new world record with 252 m (the old record was set by Norway's Anders Fannemel in 2015). Only a few minutes later there was yet another record jump: Austria's Stefan Kraft landed at outstanding 253.5 m and could hardly avoid a fall. The win in the team event went to Norway.
At first it didn't seem as if it would become such a great day for Ski Flying due to the difficult wind conditions. It took almost 40 minutes for the first 12 athletes to jump in the first round, then the jury had to decide to cancel it and start again later. What followed was an unbelievable spectacle on the HS 225 Vikersundbakken in Vikersund!
With the two world records, many flights over 240 m and personal bests the triumph of the Norwegian team, the first this winter, almost became a side note. Daniel Andre Tande, Robert Johansson, Johann Andre Forfang and Andreas Stjernen took the win for Norway with 1572.6 points. The strong Polish team, with Piotr Zyla, Dawid Kubacki, Maciej Kot and Kamil Stoch finished second with 1538.6 points. The third place went to Austria (Michael Hayboeck, Manuel Fettner, Gregor Schlierenzauer and Stefan Kraft) with 1465.4 points.
"Everything has to be perfect for a new world record and everything was perfect today, the conditions and my jump", said the new world record holder. "It was an incredible feeling, pure adrenalin. As a team we are happy about the third place", added Kraft.
Robert Johansson, who held the world record for a few minutes today, was also overwhelmed by what happened on the monster hill in Vikersund. "After my jump of 252 m I was full of emotions and adrenalin. I knew that it would go near the world record when I was so high over the knoll. Then I just tried to go as far as possible and stand it. For me it was the first time that I stood on top of the podium with the team and it's something very special. It was a great day for us. We all showed very good jumps", said Robert Johansson.
Piotr Zyla explained for the second-placed Polish team: "It was a really good day for me. The trial round was already very good and in the first round I had a great jump on a new personal best. Everyone on our team was jumping well and we are very satisfied with the second place. The conditions were good today, it was nice head wind. Ski Flying is the perfect ending for the RAW AIR."
Slovenia came in fourth with 1424.0 points. The team around Peter and Domen Prevc could have made it to the podium, if Anze Lanisek's first jump wouldn't have been over after only 120 m. The Prevc brothers and Jurij Tepes were as strong as usual in Ski Flying.
The evening in Norway ended with a disappointment for the German team. With 1305.2 points the athletes of Werner Schuster finished fifth. Karl Geiger, Richard Freitag, Markus Eisenbichler and Andreas Wellinger lost their chance to fight for a top result today when Karl Geiger landed already at 132 m in the first round.
Wellinger still leads RAW AIR overall
Once again Andreas Wellinger was the outstanding athlete of the German team. He showed a completely convincing performance with 245 m and 242.5 m and defend his overall lead in the RAW AIR. Before the final event on Sunday in Vikersund, Wellinger leads with 1879.5 points, followed by Stefan Kraft (1873.3 points) and Kamil Stoch of Poland (1806.0 points).
Japan, the Czech Republic and Switzerland came in on the places six, seven and eight in today's team competition.
The final competition on Sunday will definitely be extremely exciting. The event on the Vikersundbakken starts at 2:15 pm CET.