Peter Prevc with outstanding performance in Wisla
Peter Prevc took a clear win in the qualification for the first individual competition of the FIS Grand Prix in Wisla, Poland. The second of last season's overall World Cup showed a jump on 134.5 m and with 143.3 points he now is in a great position for Saturday's competition on the Adam-Malysz hill.
For the first time the results of the qualification will also count for the competition result (as a third competition round). With 129.5 m Norwegian Anders Fannemel scored 136.5 points and came in second. "It's an interesting innovation, there's a lot more excitement. I like it", Fannemal said to Berkutschi about the new competition format afterwards.
Also Rune Velta, fourth with 129.5 m and 131.7 points, and Andreas Stjernen, who finished sixth with 128.5 m and 130.0 points, achieved a Top 10 result for Norway. Stjernen told Berkutschi afterwards: "It was a strong performance of our team today. We were on a training camp on different hills in Austria in June and we also had a three-week vacation. Now we have a lot of energy." About the new competition format he said: "I like the new system. I never had good jumps in the qualification, but now that it counts it works."
The youngster of the Norwegian team, Phillip Sjoeen, had bad luck today. He showed an outstanding jump on 133 m in training, but in the qualification he was disqualified because his suit was not compliant to the rules.
Zyla second - Stoch not among the best
Piotr Zyla was the best Pole in third with 126 m, only two points behind Fannemel. Team Olympic Champion Andreas Wellinger jumped on 126.5 m and came in fifth behind Rune Velta with 131.5 points. His teammates Richard Freitag (128.5 points), ski flying World Champion Severin Freund (127.6 points) and Karl Geiger (126.5 points) came in eighth, tenth and 12th.
While Maciej Kot achieved another good result for Poland in seventh (129.8 points), it was not a good day for double Olympic Champion Kamil Stoch. With 114.5 m and only 103.5 points the local hero was only 47th. He is now already about 40 points behind the leader Peter Prevc. Jurij Tepes had some luck today. Right before the jump of the Slovene the jury lowered the starting gate and moved it back up and then the 25-year-old fell. "Such a bummer. So I can't jump on Saturday", he told Berkutschi right after the jump. But later there was good news: He was 46th and still managed to qualify.
Premiere for Kuttin
Swiss super star Simon Ammann had a good start of the summer and was ninth with 127.7 points. Best Austrian in the first international competition with the new head coach Heinz Kuttin was Michael Hayboeck (126.9 points) in eleventh. Last winter Hayboeck achieved his first podium result in the World Cup in Wisla.
Tom Hilde, who was in the lead for while, was 13th in the qualification with 125.9 points. He came in 0.1 points ahead of 4-Hills-Tournament winner Thomas Diethart of Austria. Gregor Schlierenzauer followed in 16th with 125.4 points, right behind local hero Jan Ziobro (125.5 points).
Jakub Janda, who surprisingly decided to continue his career, was the best of the Czech team in 17th. Antonin Hajek, Jan Matura, Lukas Hlava and Cestmir Kozisek were 19th, 29th, 30th and 31st and also qualified. Without veteran Noriaki Kasai, the Japanese team could not achieve a top result today. Junshiro Kobayashi was their best in 23rd. With Vladislav Boyarintsev in 40th and Denis Kornilov and Mikhail Maksimochkin in 42nd and 43rd, three Russian athletes qualified for the competition.
In the competition the 48 qualified jumpers will now be seeded into four groups of 12 athletes. The four best athletes of the qualification will lead their groups. The best six of each group will qualify for the final round. The results of the two competition rounds and the qualification will then determine the final result.
A team competition will be held in Wisla on Friday at 8:30 pm CET, the individual competition takes place on Saturday at 5:00 pm CET.