Team competition in Sochi - The best is yet to come
After two exciting competitions on a high level on the normal and large hill, the final event for the ski jumpers will be the team competition on the large hill on Monday. The competitors for the various teams had to be chosen after the final training on Sunday evening.
Severin Freund and Marinus Kraus were already named to the German team after the individual competitions. Andreas Wank and Andreas Wellinger showed strong performances in Sunday's training and so Richard Freitag will not be on the German team on Monday.
As expected, Thomas Diethart, Michael Hayboeck, Thomas Morgenstern and Gregor Schlierenzauer will compete for Austria. Andi Kofler will only be watching from the sidelines. Austria won the last two team competitions and if they win also in Sochi, they would be the first team to win three Gold medals.
Poland will be represented by double Olympic Champion Kamil Stoch, Maciej Kot, Piotr Zyla and Jan Ziobro. Kamil Stoch can become the second athlete to win three Gold medals at one Olympics. The only one who achieved this so far is Finland's Matti Nykaenen in Calgary 1988. Poland has never won an Olympic medal in ski jumping in the team competition.
For the strong Slovenian team a lot will depend on the performance of Robert Kranjec, who injured the medial collateral ligament in his left knee when he fell on the normal hill. But still he was chosen over Jaka Hvala. Peter Prevc, Robert Kranjec, Jernej Damjan and Jurij Tepes will for a medal for Slovenia.
Also the team of Japan is considered among the favorites. Noriaki Kasai, Daiki Ito, Taku Takeuchi and Reruhi Shimizu are getting better and better on the large hill in Sochi and will definitely be a contender for the medals.
Monday's competition could become one of the most exciting team competitions in many years. Six teams have a chance to take home the Gold. This means that three of the top teams will not win a medal. Poland, Japan, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Norway will probably fight for the top spots. Three of these teams won't take home a medal.