Stephan Leyhe tops qualification in Zakopane
Stephan Leyhe won Friday's qualification for the competition in Zakopane. The qualification took place under perfect weather conditions (no wind / -3 °C). In front of 15 000 fans Leyhe showed a jump of 131 m for 142.1 points and came in ahead of Slovenia's Jernej Damjan (130 m / 141.6 points) and Peter Prevc (135.5 m / 140.8 points).
Today's qualification was for Sunday's competition in Zakopane, on Saturday a team event will be held in the High Tatra.
In front of the, as usual, impressive crowd in Zakopane the German team showed a strong performance. Besides Leyhe, also Andreas Wellinger (5th; 130.5 m) and Karl Geiger (6th; 131 m) were among the best. Vincent Descombes Sevoie of France came in ahead of the two Germans and was fourth with 128.5 m.
Russia's Evgeniy Klimov in seventh, Dawid Kubacki (POL/8th), Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT/9th) and Norway's Tom Hilde (10th) completed the Top 10 of the qualification in Zakopane.
Of the pre-qualified athletes, 4-Hills-Tournament winner Kamil Stoch and surprisingly also Germany's Richard Freitag were strong today. Austria's Stefan Kraft, who is still suffering from the flu, is not competing in Zakopane and so Freitag was pre-qualified for the competition. Besides Freitag and Stoch, Poland's Piotr Zyla, Austrian Michael Hayboeck and Norway's Daniel Andre Tande are among the favorites on Sunday.
Severin Freund is not competing in Poland. The German is planning his comeback in the World Cup for the event in Willingen (GER) next weekend.
A few well-known athletes will miss Sunday's competition, among them Japan's Taku Takeuchi, Czech Vojtech Stursa and, due to a fall, Norway's Robert Johansson.
The team competition starts at 4:00 pm CET on Saturday, the individual event follows on Sunday, also at 4:00 pm CET.