Peter Prevc wins qualification in Bischofshofen
In absence of Simon Ammann, Slovenia's Peter Prevc won the qualification for the final event of the 4-Hills-Tournament in Bischofshofen. Overall leader Thomas Diethart came in second, followed by Anders Jacobsen. "I'm very satisfied with my jump because it was a lot better than in training. I'm really looking forward to the competition, everything is possible", said Prevc. With the longest jump of the day on 140 m and 147.5 m Prevc took the win and will face Japanese Taku Takeuchi, who skipped the qualification, in the K.O. round.
Diethart jumped 135.5 m and came in 2.2 points behind Prevc. "It's crazy. I never thought that it would be so easy for me. I like the hill here, it's fun and it just goes well. I got a pig from my dad for the first win in the World Cup, I don't know what he would get me if I win the 4-Hills."
This result leads to a real showdown in the first competition round with the K.O duel of the 21-year-old Hinzenbach and the second in the overall ranking, Ammann. Like in Innsbruck, the Swiss skipped the qualification. Jacobsen reached a total of 145.1 points with his jump on 138.5 m.
Germany's Marinus Kraus came in fourth place with 144.5 points, followed by Austrian Stefan Kraft. Richard Freitag was sixth with 143.6 points, 0.9 points ahead of Wolfgang Loitzl (7th). Michael Hayboeck (142.6 points) and Thomas Morgenstern (140.4 points), third in the 4-Hills ranking, finished eighth and ninth and completed the strong team performance of the hosts. "The jumps in training were sensational, my jump in the qualification could have been better. I was a bit too early at the take off. All in all I'm among the best and in a good shape and I'm looking forward to the final. Of course I would have wanted to be closer to the leader, I would prefer to be in the lead. But it is the way it is."
World Cup leader Kamil Stoch completed the Top 10 with 139.8 points, his Polish teammates Piotr Zyla and Jan Ziobro followed in 12th and 13th. "I'm not really satisfied today. I made three good jumps, but they weren't my best. I didn't sleep well last night and I'm not feeling well", said Stoch.
Robert Kranjec showed an upward trend and was 11th. Anders Bardal (16th) was only the third-best of his Norwegian team, while Anders Fannemel shared his 14th place weith Andreas Wellinger. The two Japanese Noriaki Kasai and Daiki Ito and Michael Neumayer came in ahead of the winner of the competition in Innsbruck, Anssi Koivuranta, who was 20th. Gregor Schlierenzauer was only 25th, Severin Freund finished 31st.
Besides the highlight Diethart against Ammann, there will be more exciting duels in the K.O. round on Monday. Anssi Koivuranta will have a chance against Severin Freund, who is not in his best shape, a day before his 24th birthday Gregor Schlierenzauer will face Andreas Wank. Eight years ago Janne Ahonen and Jakub Janda won the overall title now they will have to compete against each other. Young Austrian Christoph Stauder gets the chance to compete against World Champion Kamil Stoch, Gregor Deschwanden challenges Thomas Morgenstern. Richard Freitag will have to prove his good shape against 17-year-old Austrian Simon Greiderer. Anders Jacobsen faces his teammate Ole Marius Ingvaldsen.
The competition on the Paul-Ausserleitnger-hill starts on Monday at 4:00 pm CET. The fight for the overall title of the 62nd 4-Hills-Tournament shall then be decided at about 6:30 pm. While Thomas Diethart and Thomas Morgenstern showed what they are cabable off already today, the third remaining contender, Simon Ammann, decided not to jump. The fans can look forward to a real thriller.