Norway flies to gold in Ski Flying Worlds Team Event
Norway won gold at the Ski Flying World Championships for the third time. Anders Fannemel, Kenneth Gangnes, Johann Andre Forfang and Daniel Andre Tande took a clear win ahead of Germany and Austria with 1467.7 points.
The Norwegians were extremely consistent and had eight jumps over the 200 m mark. The longest jumps were by Anders Fannemel with 217 m and Kenneth Gangnes with 219.5 m. Gangnes said: “It feels amazing. I am proud to win this gold together with three friends, three teammates and the guys that I spend half of the year with, so this is a dream coming true for me. The first jump was not my best. My body and my muscles felt quite tense after the crash yesterday. I can feel I am starting to get a bit tired. Today it was quite easy to watch my teammates because they jumped very well. They made the jump really easy for me, so I just have to thank them."
The German team improved compared to the individual competition. Severin Freund had the longest jumps for his team in both rounds with 219 m and 218.5 m. Richard Freitag and Stephan Leyhe also jumped over 200 m, only Andreas Wellinger could not land beyond the 200 m mark. Freitag said afterwards: "Ski flying is a lot of fun. It is the main discipline of ski jumping for me. I am not absolutely satisfied with my second jump, but I am satisfied with today in general. The Norwegians deserve the gold medal. The difference between Germany and Norway was very big today. I personally think it was a great day for Kenneth Gangnes who deserves the win after yesterday. I enjoyed the Ski Flying World Championships very much and I think the whole team of the Kulm 2016 Organizing Committee did a great job. I also wish all the best to Lukas Mueller who had the crash on Wednesday."
Kraft best Austrian
Stefan Kraft was the outstanding athlete for the Austrian team with 225.5 m and 230 m. Michael Hayboeck was also strong and had his longest jump with 216 m. Manuel Poppinger and Manuel Fettner each had one bad jump under 160 m. At the end 1310.4 points were enough to win the medal for the hosting team. "The medal is a big success for the Austrian team, although we had a lot of bad luck today concerning the wind conditions. Not many people thought that we could win the medal today, so this is really a big success. It was a big honor to be the last jumper of my team. I am especially satisfied with my second jump. Although I didn’t have good wind conditions, I managed to reach the distance of 216 meters. I will try to get some energy back after these nice, but also exhausting days here at Kulm. The big goal for me is to win some World Cup events this season, but it is really difficult because Peter Prevc seems to win everything."
Disappointing performance of Slovenia
The favorites from Slovenia could again not meet the expectations in a big team competition. While individual World Champion Peter Prevc had the longest jumps of the day with 228 m and 238 m, Robert Kranjec was the only other athlete, who could show his best performance. Anze Lanisek and, especially, ski flying expert Jurij Tepes disappointed and couldn't get close to 200 m. So Slovenia finished only fourth with 1272.7 points.
In the Polish team, Kamil Stoch made amends for the failed qualification for the individual competition with jumps of 207 m and 202.5 m. Klemens Muranka, Dawid Kubacki and Stefan Hula had some solid jumps, but 1211.9 points were not enough to fight for a medal.
Czech team not strong
It was not a good day for the recently strong Czech team. Only Tomas Vancura really got to fly with his 202.5 m in the final. Jan Matura did a good job in the first round with 195.5 m, but Roman Koudelka had his longest jump with only 156.5 m. Lukas Hlava also didn't do well. The team came in sixth with 1018.4 points.
As expected the Finns didn't have a chance to fight for the top positions. Ville Larinto was the best of his team with 180 m. Harri Olli, Lauri Asikainen and Sebastian Klinga couldn't make any decent flights. With 721.6 points the team came in only ahead of Russia. Vladislav Boyarintsev, Mikhail Maksimochkin, Ilmir Hazetdinov and Denis Kornilov, usually a good ski flyer, scored 707.5 points.