It's going better and better for Ryoyu Kobayashi. The 22-year-old top favorite of this 4-Hills-Tournament took his first qualification win during this Tournament in Innsbruck with 126.5 m and 126.2 points. So far, Kobayashi was second twice. Markus Eisenbichler's jump in the qualification was not good and so he landed already at 116 m and was only 32nd.
"That just happened somehow, but I'm qualified and I don't have to think about this jump anymore. Fortunately, this was only the qualification", said Eisenbichler, who was relieved that this bad jump still earned him the qualification for Friday's competition and doesn't affect the overall ranking of the 4-Hills-Tournament. Eisenbichler, who is only 2.3 points behind the leader, remains the main opponent of Kobayashi when it comes to the fight for the overall title of 67th 4-Hills-Tournament.
With Roman Koudelka of the Czech Republic (124.5 m / 123.7 points) and Norway's Johann Andre Forfang (127.5 m / 123.5 points) in second and third, two athletes were among the best today who are getting better and better during the course of this Tournament.
For the Austrian team, it also went better again after the disappointing result in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Daniel Huber and Stefan Kraft finished fourth and ninth.
Kilian Peier of Switzerland convinced in fifth, the two Germans Karl Geiger and Stephan Leyhe came in sixth and eighth.
The third competition of the 67th 4-Hills-Tournament starts on Friday at 2 pm CET.
￼Here's what the athletes said after the qualification in Innsbruck:
Richard Freitag (12th): I don’t want to overrate this jump now. I’m qualified and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. This hill has its own character and I like that.
Markus Eisenbichler (32nd): I didn’t have a good take-off and I think I was a bit too late. I feel fit and I know exactly what I need to do. The jump in training was okay, the one in the qualification wasn’t that good. But it’s only a matter of small details and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
Karl Geiger (6th): It was a good jump, the take-off was better again than recently and so it was a good day.
Daniel Huber (4th): After a day like today I have a lot of self-confidence, hopefully, I can follow up on this performance tomorrow.
Stefan Kraft (9th): This was a solid jump and it felt very easy. I'm really looking forward to the competition.