Norwegians soar to team victory in Wisla
It was a great opening event of the Ski Jumping World Cup in Wisla (POL). The fans in the sold-out Adam-Malysz-Stadium saw a team competition with great Norwegians and teams of Austria, Poland and Germany on an equal level. Poland and Austria tied for second, Germany came in fourth.
After the first round, the three teams of Norway (Johann Andre Forfang, Anders Fannemel, Daniel-Andre Tande and Robert Johansson), Poland (Piotr Zyla, Dawid Kubacki, Maciej Kot and Kamil Stoch) and Austria (Daniel Huber, Clemens Aigner, Michael Hayboeck and Stefan Kraft) were separated by only three points. The German team was ten points behind and also in a good position.
But then Norway's Johann Andre Forfang showed a second jump on 129.5 m and earned his team a clear lead. Poland, Austria and Germany lost more than ten meters in the first jumps of the second round. The following three jumpers of Norway were strong as well and so the team took a clear win this evening.
"We had a tough start in the first round, in the second round all the boys showed really good jumps. For me, it was exciting to be the last Norwegian jumper in a team competition. It was a very good day and it's amazing to start the season with a win", Norway's Robert Johansson said after the competition.
As expected, Stefan Kraft was the best of the Austrian team. Youngster Daniel Huber presented himself in a strong shape as well and set a highlight with his 126 m jump: "It was a good competition for us today. My first jump was amazing and I was really happy with it. In the second round, I was struggling a bit at the take-off. Stefan Kraft did a great job in the final round and earned us the place on the podium", said Huber.
To the joy of the Polish fans at the Adam-Malysz-hill, the four Polish jumpers competed on the highest level and came in close behind Norway. "I was very nervous before the competition but when I was jumping I had a good feeling. It was a very emotional competition for us, but also for the fans. It's very nice to be on the podium at the beginning of the season", said double Olympic champion Kamil Stoch.
For Germany, Richard Freitag showed a very convincing performance today. The rest of the German team (Andreas Wellinger, Stephan Leyhe and Markus Eisenbichler) couldn't live up to the high expectations. The competition did not start well for the first German, Markus Eisenbichler, who could avoid a fall but was already clearly behind the three top teams.
The Japanese team, with veteran Noriaki Kasai, Daiki Ito and the Kobayashi brothers, convinced in fifth. Japan seems to have a very good team for this season. Slovenia finished second, followed by the good Swiss team and Russia.
The first individual competition of the season will be held on Sunday at 3 pm CET.