SFWC: All eyes on Harrachov
In 2002 Germany’s Sven Hannawald won the FIS Ski Flying world title at the famous “Teufelsberg” in Harrachov (CZE) in front of 50 000 spectators. When the famous venue hosts the event again this weekend or 12 years later, on the HS 205 Certak Ski Flying hill, Hannawald will no longer be there but the enthusiasm will be the same or even greater.
A test event in February 2013 already demonstrated the enthusiasm that will accompany large crowds of fans from the Czech Republic and its neighbours Poland and Germany. The town of Harrachov is just five kilometers from the border of Poland and 50 km from the border of Germany. Joining them will be fans from Norway, Slovenia and Austria as well as Ski Jumping enthusiasts from all over the world.
"The words Harrachov and ski flying stand for a challenge. While the ski flying hill in the Krkonose Mountains used to be one of the most infamous and was very susceptible to the wind, it is now one of the modern facilities with wind protection. The organizing committee is one of the most experienced, but the expected huge crowds will pose a true challenge to logistics.
Nothing new concerning the sporting side. And I mean that extremely positive: Like already prior to the Olympics, there are as many potential medalist as never before. Fortunately also the home team can be considered among them after their recent results", FIS race director Walter Hofer says about the final highlight of a long and exhausting winter season.
The three athletes who dominated the competitions in Falun, Lahti, Kuopio, Trondheim and Oslo over the past ten days are also the top favorites in Harrachov. Double Olympic Champion Kamil Stoch (POL), Severin Freund (GER) and Anders Bardal (NOR) are the favorites at the Championships. And there is also the incredible Noriaki Kasai, who can be considered to perform even better in ski flying than in ski jumping. A medal at the World Championships, maybe even the title, is within reach for the fan favorite of Japan. A medal at World Championships! What a story this would be for the 41-year-old gentleman in the field of athletes.
Of course also Peter Prevc, the very strong Slovene, is one of the favorites. Like all athletes of Slovenia he shows extra courage and dynamics when it comes to ski flying. "Why we Slovenes are doing especially well in ski flying? Maybe because we are not scared", Prevc said about the special quality of the Slovenes.
Robert Kranjec will be competing
After a break due to a knee injury he suffered in Sochi, defending Champion and ski flying specialist Robert Kranjec will also be competing in Harrachov. The Slovene possesses unique skills when it comes to showing spectacular and long flights. Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT) can also be considered among the favorites. Schlierenzauer has not achieved many top results this winter, but in ski flying the athlete of Tyrol is always capable of fighting for the win.