The team of Germany (Karl Geiger, Markus Eisenbichler, David Siegel, Stephan Leyhe) won the team competition on Saturday evening in Zakopane close ahead of Austria (Daniel Huber, Jan Hoerl, Michael Hayboeck, Stefan Kraft; 1157.4 points) and Poland (Piotr Zyla, Maciej Kot, Kamil Stoch, Dawid Kubacki; 1117.2 points). The crash of Germany's David Siegel overshadowed the competition.
The team event in Zakopane was as exciting as no other team competition recently. Only the tiny margin of 0.1 points was decisive for Germany's win and this shows how close the best teams are.
In addition to the extremely close result, there were two hill records set by Markus Eisenbichler (143 m) and then Dawid Kubacki (143.5 m), the disqualification of Norway's Johann Andre Forfang before his second jump and a serious crash of David Siegel in the final round.
There were plenty of highlights and moments of shock in this competition in Zakopane.
"David made a really good jump and was very high. He maybe he made a mistake in this situation and then he fell", Karl Geiger explained after the competitions. He added: "I hope it's not too bad, but his knee is not looking good. We are keeping our fingers crossed. Having a lead of only 0.1 points after eight jumps is nothing, it shows how close it is and that all of the athletes are jumping at a high level."
Especially bitter for Siegel: The 22-year-old 2016 Junior World Champion just returned to the team this winter after a long break due to injury and could show more and more convincing performances in the past weeks.
Youngster Jan Hoerl surprises
Youngster Jan Hoerl surprised for the team of Austria today. He got the spot on the team instead of veteran Manuel Fettner and completely justified this decision of head coach Andreas Felder: "It was a very cool competition today, it was my first time competing in a team event. And to be on the podium in this atmosphere here is really cool. I showed two good jumps today and I think the others are also satisfied with their jumps", Hoerl said after the competition.
The third place went to the Polish team, for which Dawid Kubacki scored the decisive points in the end. Maciej Kot explained: "I'm satisfied with my jumps, the situation was not easy for me because I was competing in a team event for the first time this season. I felt the pressure today. My jumps were okay and I think that I contributed to our podium result. I have been working hard and now I see the results. Every one of us did a good job and so we finished on the podium."
Slovenia was fourth, followed by the Japanese, where Ryoyu Kobayashi could not follow up on his top performances of the past weeks. The team of the Czech Republic was sixth and Roman Koudelka showed that he is getting better and better. Koudelka is getting closer to his top shape and might become a real contender for places on the podium in the rest of the season. Switzerland was fifth, ahead of the Norwegians, who lost their chances on a podium result due to the disqualification of Johann Andre Forfang.
The individual competition starts on Sunday at 4 pm CET. There will be the usual stadium entertainment again for the event on Sunday.