Stefan Kraft starts the winter with a qualification win
Austria's Stefan Kraft, last winter's overall World Cup winner, had a perfect start of the 2017/18 Olympic season. On the HS 134 Adam-Malysz-hill in Wisla (POL), Kraft showed a jump on 126.5 m (129.5 points) in the first qualification of the season. Behind Kraft, Stephan Leyhe (GER) and Japanese Junshiro Kobayashi presented themselves in a strong shape in second and third.
The German team showed an outstanding performance in the first qualification, in which every athlete had to qualify. Besides Leyhe in second, also Andreas Wellinger (4th), Richard Freitag (6th), Karl Geiger (8th) and Markus Eisenbichler (10th) finished in the Top 10 this evening.
Markus Eisenbichler, Richard Freitag, Andreas Wellinger and Stephan Leyhe are now the top favorites for Saturday's team competition.
But also the Poles were strong today. Piotr Zyla, Dawid Kubacki, Kamil Stoch and Maciej Kot were jumping well and will not give up without a fight in the first team competitions of the winter (Start: 4 pm). The fans can look forward to an interesting battle.
The Austrian team will probably also fight for one of the top spots. Not only today's winner Stefan Kraft left a strong impression, also newcomer Daniel Huber showed a convincing performance with a jump of 122 m (14th).
With a field of 72 competitors, the qualification for Sunday's individual competition provided lots of excitement. Some familiar names failed to make the cut for the competition. Among them Slovenia's Robert Kranjec, Japanese Taku Takeuchi and Jakub Janda of the Czech Republic, who will end his career in Wisla because he was elected to the Czech parliament and will trade his jumping skis in for a career in politics.