Wellinger and Freitag claim 1-2 finish for Germany
Great double victory for the German ski jumpers in Nizhny Tagil (RUS). After the win of Richard Freitag on Saturday, the Germans achieved an outstanding team result today with Andreas Wellinger in first, Richard Freitag in second and Markus Eisenbichler in fourth, only 0.3 points behind the podium. Austria's Stefan Kraft was third.
German on one and two today and in the World Cup
Andreas Wellinger was the happy winner of the second competition in Nizhny Tagil (RUS). Jumps of 132 m and 133.5 m earned the 22-year-old a total of 275.7 points and a clear lead over his teammate Richard Freitag (131 m and 138 m; 270.9 points) and Austria's Stefan Kraft (128 m and 133.5 m; 263.5 points).
"I'm extremely satisfied, I had two pretty amazing jumps. I think that, especially in the first round, the conditions were not that easy, but I noticed that it worked well at the take-off and that makes flying easier. This result is very important for the next competitions because it gives me confidence to know that I can show what I'm capable off in the competition. We have a good team spirit, we trained well and we push each other right now", Wellinger explained after the competition.
Yesterday's winner Richard Freitag had another convincing competition and defended his lead in the overall World Cup with a second place today. Richard Freitag: "This weekend here was definitely worth the long trip for me. The atmosphere was amazing and it was a lot of fun to jump in front of this crowd. The competitions were cool here. Being on the podium together with Andreas was great, Markus Eisenbichler almost made it as well. Now we'll enjoy this evening and then we'll continue working. I'm looking forward to jumping with the yellow bib in front of the home crowd in Titisee-Neustadt."
This Ski Jumping season is only three weeks old, but it's already obvious that the Germans have the strongest team they had in a long time. Besides Freitag, Wellinger and Eisenbichler, also Karl Geiger (9th), Stephan Leyhe (17th) and Pius Paschke (24th) showed good performances in a strong field again.
Kraft shows he's capable of more
The third place went to Stefan Kraft of Austria. The 24-year-old achieved this top result even though he had really difficult conditions in the first round. But still Kraft was satisfied: "I'm very satisfied with this competition. I was struggling a bit in training on the first day here, but it got better and better and today it was a lot of fun. The Germans are hard to beat right now, they are really strong. Yesterday I missed the podium by 0.1 points, today I made it and so it was a really cool weekend for me. The level is extremely high, when you make only a small mistake you are far behind and maybe not even in the final round. That's how it should be, it's exciting for the fans and for us."
This winter we saw four different winners in the four individual competitions and, after his performances so far, Stefan Kraft might well finish on top of the podium in one of the next events.
Markus Eisenbichler once again closely missed the podium. After the first round, he was second, but the Bavarian didn't have one of his top jumps in the final and due to the high level of the competition he lost some ground. But the fourth place is still a great result for Eisenbichler.
Daniel Andre Tande of Norway came in fifth after he had already lost his chances to win already in the first round. In difficult conditions, the 23-year-old had no chance on a top result and so he was only 17th after the first round. But with the best jump in the final on 138.5 m he moved up to fifth. The Norwegian showed big fighting spirit and sportsmanship today: "That's Ski Jumping. Sometimes you have better conditions and sometimes you don't." Tande's teammate Anders Fannemel finished in a strong sixth place.
Team Poland with positive trend
The athletes of Poland showed some improvement compared to the day before. Kamil Stoch and Maciej Kot came in seventh and eighth, Piotr Zyla was 16th and Dawid Kubacki 19th. The 40th place of Stefan Hula is a result to forget because Hula had terrible conditions, to put it mildly. That's Ski Jumping.
With now 270 points, Richard Freitag still leads the overall World Cup ahead of Andreas Wellinger (239 points) and Norway's Daniel Andre Tande (220 points).
The World Cup continues next weekend in Titisee-Neustadt. The qualification there will take place on Friday at 12 pm CET. The competitions follow on Saturday (4 pm CET) and Sunday (3:30 pm CET).