Oberstdorf-native Karl Geiger claimed his first win in the World Cup in the first competition in Engelberg. The 25-year-old had a perfect jump in the final round and moved up from five to first overall. Piotr Zyla of Poland and Daniel Huber of Austria came in second and third.
It was such a tight field of the top athletes today that the winner and the sixth-placed jumper were separated by less than nine points. The outstanding final jump of Karl Geiger of 141 m, which was the longest jump of the day, decided this extremely exciting event in Engelberg.
"It's hard to find the right words, I'm more than happy that I had such a great competition today. The first jump as already pretty good, the second one was amazing, one of my best jumps ever. I already knew at the take-off, that this is a perfect jump. Now I'm enjoying this win and that it was such a great day for me. It's always good to know that you are in a good shape so close before the 4-Hills-Tournament", said the happy winner.
Piotr Zyla, who came in 4.7 points behind Geiger, was second for the second time this winter. He already finished on this place in Nizhny Tagil (RUS) two weeks ago. "My jumps were quite good today. We worked hard in summer and this pays off now. Right now I'm not thinking about tomorrow's competition, I'm thinking about dinner now and then we'll see what happens tomorrow", Zyla told after the competition.
Today's third place was a career-best for Austria's Daniel Huber. "I like the hill here in Engelberg a lot and it also always feels like Christmas here. Yesterday I realized that my jumps are getting better and better. I already had a good feeling yesterday and then the first jump today was really good. In the final I then took a lot of risk and it worked out great. I don't feel any pressure. I know that I can be among the best and this gives me confidence", said Huber.
Johann Forfang was the best Norwegian in fourth, Russia's Evgeniy Klimov is back among the best and was fifth. Klimov was in the lead after the first round, but he then lost some ground with a 134 m jump in the final. Stephan Leyhe completed a strong team result today for Germany in sixth.
The seventh place went to this winter's highflyer Ryoyu Kobayashi of Japan. Kobayashi won the qualification on Friday, but today he was struggling with the relatively strong tailwind on the Titlis-hill during this competition.
With Stefan Kraft and Michael Hayboeck in eighth and tenth, Austrian head coach Andreas Felder can be satisfied with the performance of his team for the first time this winter. The Austrians are back on track right in time for the 4-Hills-Tournament.
This competition was on a very high level and so it was a tough day for many top athletes. Severin Freund, Noriaki Kasai, Markus Eisenbichler, Simon Ammann, Peter Prevc and Richard Freitag were among those who could not make the cut for the final of the best 30.
The second competition in Engelberg starts on Sunday at 2:15 pm CET.