Taku Takeuchi celebrates home win in Hakuba
Japan's Taku Takeuchi took the win in the second competition of the FIS Grand Prix in Hakuba (JPN). Takeuchi, who was second the day before, scored 242.2 points with his jumps of 130 m and 127 m.
After he came in first twice in Almaty (2012 and 2014), this was the third win in a Grand Prix for Takeuchi: "I'm in a good shape and before my jumps I was hoping that I'll also have good wind conditions today. Yesterday I made a mistake in the second round, today it went better and I had two stable jumps. I now plan to participate in the remaining Grand Prix events in Russia, Austria and Germany", Takeuchi summed up his successfull weekend.
In contrast to the competition on Saturday evening, the wind conditions were difficult for the second event Sunday morning and so the rounds had to be interrupted various times. "It's a pretty big adjustment with a competition in the evening and then so early, in Norway it's the middle of the night now. You really have to adjust to that. But of course I'm also satisfied today. My first jump was not good, the second one was really good", Anders Fannemel said after he came in third today. Fannemel won the competition on Saturday.
For second-placed Norwegian Joachim Hauer today's result is a career-best in the Grand Prix. So far Hauer finished third twice in Chaikovsky (RUS) in 2015. "The sixth place yesterday was a bit surprising for me and it could have gone even better if I would have had a better second jump. This second place today makes me very happy. I like this hill a lot and I hope that I'll get the chance to compete here more often. In retrospect it definintely was the right decision to come here a few days earlier in order to make dealing with the time difference easier", said Hauer.
With Daniel Andre Tande another Norwegian came in among the best. Tande, who made his comeback after a long break due to injury in Japan, presented himself in a strong shape and was fourth. The two youngsters Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN, 5th) and Tomas Vancura (CZE, 6th) impressively confirmed their good results of this summer. Both are regulars in the Top 10 this season.
US American Kevin Bickner closely missed a summer sensation. Bickner was able to take advantage of good wind conditions in the first round and so the 20-year-old was in the lead after the first half of the competition with the longest jump of the day of 135 m. In the second round it didn't go that well for Bickner, but the seventh place still means another top result for the US boy this summer. Bickner will have to be reckoned with in the future.
Karl Geiger (8th) and Andreas Wellinger (9th) held the German flag high. Birthday boy Wellinger made a mistake in the first round and would have been able to finish on the podium again with a better first jump. Stephan Leyhe was 27th. Richard Freitag (32nd) and Andreas Wank (42nd) could not qualify for the final round of the best 30 jumpers.
Once again it was not a good day for the team of Austria. Like on the day before, five of the seven Austrian competitors failed to make the cut for the second round. Only Clemens Aigner (19th) and Andreas Kofler (27th) could score some points.
Maciej Kot of Poland remains in the lead of the overall ranking with 380 points, ahead of Andreas Wellinger (285 points) and Anders Fannemel (240 points).
The FIS Grand Prix continues on September 10th and 11th in Chaikovsky (RUS), where men and ladies will be competing.