Stefan Kraft takes overall World Cup 2016/17
Stefan Kraft won the final competition of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup 2016/17 and also claimed the overall World Cup title and the Ski Flying World Cup title. The second and third place in the great finale on the Letalnica Ski Flying hill in Planica (SLO) went to Andreas Wellinger of Germany and Japan's Noriaki Kasai.
In the final Ski Flying event of the winter, which had to be canceled after eight of the 30 jumpers in the final round due to the strong side wind, which was not forecasted to decrease within the next few hours, Stefan Kraft had the by far longest jump of the day with 250 m and scored 244.3 points. This was already the 8th win in the World Cup this season for the 23-year-old and with winning two individual Gold medals at the WSC in Lahti, the overall World Cup and the Ski Flying World Cup, the Austrian is the outstanding athlete this winter. "It was another unbelievable day. Being on top of the podium three times today was too much for me. For the first time ever I started crying at a ceremony. I want to thank my team and the Ski Jumping family. It's special to be a part of it. Thanks to all of you", said the new overall World Cup champion.
For Andreas Wellinger the season ended on a very familiar place: In second behind Stefan Kraft. The German had a jump of 238.5 m on Sunday, that earned him 236.2 points. With this performance he came in second for the eighth time in an individual World Cup competition in the year 2017. "I had a great jump in the first round and would have really wanted to jump again, but the conditions didn't allow it. I think it was the right decision to cancel. The season had a bumpy start for me, but what happened since the 4-Hills-Tournament was amazing and gives me a lot of motivation", said Andreas Wellinger.
To the joy of the 16 500 enthusiastic fans in Planica, veteran Noriaki Kasai jumped on 239 m and came in third with 223.9 points. The 44-year-old is on a roll at the end of the season and achieved his first podium results in 2016/17 with his second place in Vikersund last weekend and the third place today. "It is great that I could end the season in a good shape and I'm already looking forward to next season. Last year I had my 500th World Cup competition here in Planica and this year I finished on the podium. Planica is a special place for me. My family visited me here and that also helped me. I could really relax", said the Japanese crowd favorite.
Markus Eisenbichler again had lots of reason to celebrate after his jump of 243 m, but because the German had a longer inrun than the Top 3 he closely missed the podium by 0.7 points. Kamil Stoch of Poland, who was fighting for the overall title with Stefan Kraft until the very end, finished fifth, followed by local hero Peter Prevc, Norway's Robert Johansson and Jurij Tepes (SLO). Johann Andre Forfang, Anders Fannemel and Andreas Stjernen in 9th, 10th and 13th provided yet another strong team result for the Norwegians in a Ski Flying event. The athletes of Poland also achieved good results and showed a close team performance with Kamil Stoch (5th), Piotr Zyla (11th), Maciej Kot (14th) and Dawid Kubacki (15th).
Crystal globes to Stefan Kraft and Poland
After 26 individual competitions this winter, Stefan Kraft wins the overall World Cup title for the first time in his career with 1665 points. The second place goes to 4-Hills-Tournament winner Kamil Stoch with 1534 points, Daniel Andre Tande of Norway is third with 1201 points.
Although he lost the race for the overall title, Kamil Stoch was still satisfied: "Planica is always fantastic. It was my dream to fly over 250 m and it came true this weekend. I'm second in the World Cup, third in the Ski Flying World Cup and we are the best team. This weekend was amazing and so was the whole season." Daniel Andre Tande also has a lot of reason to be happy about how this season went for him: "The start of the season was much better for me than the end, I was struggling a bit with my technique and I also felt tired. Being third in the overall World Cup is amazing, since it's only my second full World Cup season. I couldn't be happier."
For the first time in the history of Ski Jumping, Poland could win the Nations Cup. With 5833 points the team of head coach Stefan Horngacher came in ahead of Austria (5586 points) and Germany (5513 points).
The victory in the Ski Flying World Cup also goes to Stefan Kraft with 445 points, followed by Andreas Wellinger (333 points) and Kamil Stoch (279 points). 25 years after he could win the Ski Flying World Championships title in Harrachov, Noriaki Kasai was fourth (230 points).