Severin Freund soars to victory in Ruka
Severin Freund won the second Ski Jumping World Cup competition of this winter in Ruka, Finland, in an impressive manner. For 28-year-old Freund, who was already second in the season opener on Friday, jumped on 146 m and 138 m (290.6 points) and took his 22nd win in the World Cup with a clear lead of 11.6 points over second-placed Norwegian Daniel-Andre Tande.
The third place went to Austria's Manuel Fettner, who equalled his career-best result (a third place in Oberstdorf 2010). Severin Freund now took the lead in the overall World Cup with 180 (of the maximum of 200) points.
Freund took advantage of his huge amount of experience on the HS 142 hill in Kuusamo and took a well-deserved win. "I'm really satisfied, this is definitely not what I expected and this makes it so much more satisfying. Today I made the right jump at the right time because I was lucky with the conditions in the first round. I had the best conditions and made a very aggressive jump, which wouldn't have worked on many hills. The season has just started and I already achieved my goal of winning again. Now I just want to get better from competition to competition", Freund said after the competition.
After being eighth in the first round, Daniel Andre Tande could move up to second overall with an outstanding second jump of 139 m. "After the first round I didn't expect that I could finish in the Top 3 today. My first jump wasn't nearly as good as the second. It's a difficult hill here, but I really like it because you can fly quite long. It's my second time here so I couldn't be happier with the result", explained Tande.
The best team peformance today was shown by the Austrians. Besides Manuel Fettner, also Stefan Kraft (4th), Andreas Kofler (6th) and Michael Hayboeck (10th) were in the Top 10. "I'm very satisfied with the result and also with my jumps. I'm really happy. I think this was the best weekend I've ever experienced in Kuusamo with regard to the weather conditions and I've been here often. Yesterday was no wind and today it also felt like almost no wind for Kuusamo", Fettner joked after his strong performance.
Karl Geiger achieved yet another great result for the German team in ninth. Markus Eisenbichler and Richard Freitag in 15th and 16th, Stephan Leyhe in 19th and Andreas Wellinger in 20th completed a solid team result for Germany. The fans in Klingenthal, where the next World Cup competitions will be held next weekend, can look forward to seeing a strong German team.
For the Slovenian brothers Peter and Domen Prevc it didn't go as well as yesterday. Peter, who sustained a big bruise on his right thigh in his crash yesterday, was seventh. His 17-year-old brother Domen, the winner of this season's first event, finished 13th. Today's competition ended without a top result for the Polish team of head coach Stefan Horngacher. But Maciej Kot (8th), Piotr Zyla (11th), Dawid Kubacki in 14th and Kamil Stoch, who was struggling a bit after his fall yesterday, were still strong - the Polish team has to be reckoned with this winter.
The weekend in Ruka was a huge success for Vincent Descombes Sevoie of France. He already gained some attention with a great 10th place on Friday and was pre-qualified for the second event. Today Descombes Sevoie could do even better and finished on a sensational fifth place. He is now 9th in the overall World Cup - á la bonne heure.
Besides Severin Freund and the Prevc brothers, the organizers in Ruka also one of this weekend's winners. The investments for the new inrun track and the huge wind net already paid off on the very first weekend. The Rukatunturi hill in Kuusamo will probably continue to be a regular in the World Cup calendar of the FIS.
After two competitions, Severin Freund of Germany leads the overall World Cup with 180 points, followed by Domen Prevc (SLO/120 points) and Austrian Manuel Fettner (110 points).
The team of Germany leads the Nation's Cup after the first weekend with 376 points, ahead of Austria (311 points) and Slovenia (225 points).