Slovenes take a double victory in Chaikovsky
Slovenia's Robert Kranjec won the first of two competition at the FIS Grand Prix in Chaikovsky (RUS) with an outstanding performance. Like in the training jumps the day before, Kranjec presented himself in a great shape and won 15.9 points ahead of his teammate Anze Semenic. Karl Geiger of Germany came in third.
With 141 m and 145.5 m (275.5 points) Robert Kranjec had the longest jumps in both rounds and improved the summer hill record (held by Poland's Piotr Zyla) on the HS 140 in Chaikovsky by 12 meters. For Kranjec this win was his third in a Grand Prix, the last time he stood on top of the podium was in Hakuba 2009.
"Today I had two great jumps and good conditions, everything went well. The hill suits me, it's pretty similar to the large hill in Planica. Actually I wasn't in a good shape when I came here. In Hakuba I had some problems with the inrun position, it worked a lot better here. I will do everything I can to win again tomorrow, but it's a new day and many guys are jumping well. It won't be easy", Kranjec summed up.
The surprise of the day was Kranjec' teammate Anze Semenic. The 23-year-old came in on a career best second place with 137.5 m and 136 m. So far fourth places in Hakuba and Chaikovsky were his best results in the Grand Prix. "I'm a bit surprised by this result, but I was already close to the best in training and everything worked out great today. I already noticed during training in Planica that my jumps are getting better and better. The hill is very similar to the one in Planica and I like it a lot. Now I hope that I can show two good jumps again tomorrow and then we'll see", Semenic said after the competition.
Only the tiny margin of 0.1 point behind Semenic, Karl Geiger of Germany finished third. He achieved the best result of his career with jumps of 136.5 m and 137 m. Geiger was already fourth two weeks ago in Hakuba. In the training rounds on Friday, the German didn't jump that well yet. "There are various reasons why it went a lot better today than yesterday. I need the pressure of the competition, it helps me to focus. And I also analyzed yesterday's jumps and made some improvements. We'll see how it goes tomorrow, it would be a highlight if I could jump as well as today again", said Geiger.
Taku Takeuchi was fourth and missed the podium by only 0.5 points. The Japanese confirmed his strong performances from Hakuba and lead a strong Team of Japan. With Jaka Hvala in fifth another Slovene completed the Top 5 and provided an outstanding result for the team of Goran Janus, who is not in Chaikovsky.
The team of the Czech Republic continues to show a positive trend. Besides Tomas Vancura in sixth, also Vojtech Stursa (7th) finished in the Top 10. Lukas Hlava in 12th completed the good result of the Czech team. The Austrian B-team made amends for their bad performance in Hakuba. Markus Schiffner (8th) and Clemens Aigner (9th) had a strong competition and will be able to achieve yet another top result on Sunday.
The competition started under difficult conditions due to a thunderstorm. But after some interruptions at the beginning of the event the weather calmed down and the spectators saw a competition on a high level.
The second competition of the FIS Grand Prix 2016 in Chaikovsky will take place on Sunday at 2:00 pm local time (11:00 am CET).