Severin Freund is the Man of the Hour
Only 48 hours after his success in Falun, Severin Freund also won the first of three competitions in Lahti. Austria's Stefan Kraft came in on a career best second place, double Olympic Champion Kamil Stoch finished third. Peter Prevc was fourth and defended his overall lead in the World Cup.
Severin Freund continued where he left off in Falun. He was already in the lead after the first round with 131 m, with 127.5 m in the final and a total of 276.6 points he won eleven points ahead of Kraft. "It's great. It's a nice hill for me, I always jump very well here. I'm very satisfied. The yellow bib is not very far away, but it's extremely difficult to close this gap. I hope Noriaki will be fit again tomorrow, it's a great fight between us", said Freund.
Kraft moves up
20-year-old Kraft was ninth after the first round with 125 m, with a fantastic jump on 134 m in the final he moved up to second. "In the first round I was a bit too late at the take-off, in the second round I had a great jump. After Falun we read a lot about our performance there but now we fought back and defended the lead in the Nation's Cup. Now we have four strong guys for the team competition tomorrow and we hope that we can finish first." After jumps on 127 m and 124.5 m Kamil Stoch came in only 0.2 points ahead of Peter Prevc, who jumped on 125.5 m and 123.5 m. "The level of the competitions is extremely high at the moment. There are many jumpers on the same level and this makes the competitions difficult. I try not to think about the fight for the yellow bib, I try to focus on my jumps. I still have some room for improvement and I have to concentrate on that." Anssi Koivuranta showed a great performance with 128.5 m and 126.5 m and missed the podium by only 0.8 points, but still this fifth place was the second best result for the Finn this season.
Great team result for Austria
Thomas Diethart (254.3 points), Michael Hayboeck (252.9 points) and Gregor Schlierenzauer (251.8 points) came in on the places six to eight and completed the strong team result for Austria. Schlierenzauer was second after the first round. Behind Anders Bardal (251.7 points), Gregor Deschwanden finished tenth with 242.9 points, while his teammate Simon Ammann could not qualify for the final in 32nd. Jurij Tepes and Jernej Damjan followed in 11th and 12th, Jakub Janda and Antonin Hajek of the Czech Republic were 13th and 14th. Dimitry Vassiliev was 16th and achieved his best result since early December.
Ups and downs for Germany - Bad day for Poland
Despite Freund's win the performance of the German team was once again not that good. The second best of the team was Andreas Wellinger in 18th, Marinus Kraus, Michael Neumayer and Andreas Wank were 23rd, 24th and 26th. Three Finnish athletes managed to qualify for the final round, besides Anssi Koivuranta, Ville Larinto and Janne Ahonen were 27th and 28th. The first day of the World Cup weekend in Lahti was a disappointment for the Polish team. Besides Kamil Stoch, only Dawid Kubacki qualified for the competition. Maciej Kot, Piotr Zyla, Jan Ziobro and Klemens Muranka all failed to make the cut in the qualification.
The team competition in Lahti will be held on Saturday at 4:15 pm CET, the second individual competition starts on Sunday at 2:00 pm CET.