It was a competition on a high level that kicked-off the 2018/19 Ski Jumping season in Wisla (POL). Team events are usually exciting, but Saturday's competition in Wisla was definitely a real nail-biter. After six of the eight jumps, Poland already seemed to be the clear winner, but after Dawid Kubacki's second jump Germany surprisingly took the lead. Stephan Leyhe scored more than 20 points more than Kubacki and suddenly the team of Werner Schuster was ahead of Poland.
Then it came down to the duel Richard Freitag vs. Kamil Stoch. Stoch showed a perfect jump of 129 m and put a lot of pressure on Richard Freitag. Freitag already landed at 123.5 m and so Kamil Stoch and the Polish team took the win today. "The competition went very well for us. I'm happy that there were so many fans here and the atmosphere was amazing. It's not only motivating, but also an inspiration to carry on. It helped me today that the coach trusted me enough to name me to the team", explained the three-time Olympic champion who did not jump well on the Adam-Malysz-hill yesterday and was only 48th in the qualification.
But the second place was still a great success for the German team with Richard Freitag, Markus Eisenbichler, Stephan Leyhe, and Karl Geiger. "It was a nice competition and very exciting until the very last jumper. The Polish guys performed very well, so it's a bit like last season and we now have to fight back to return to the top of the podium", said Stephan Leyhe, who showed a great performance.
The Austrians, Daniel Huber, Clemens Aigner, Stefan Kraft, and Michael Hayboeck, also showed a convincing performance and came in third. "It was a good competition for us. The last season was not our best and so it was a good start to be on the podium", said newcomer Clemens Aigner.
Team Japan improved
Despite two falls of Ryoyu Kobayashi and Taku Takeuchi, the team of Japan came in fourth. The athletes of head coach Hideharu Miyahira clearly improved their performances compared to last year. Today's fifth place was a good result for the team of Switzerland. Kilian Peier, Simon Ammann, Gregor Deschwanden and Andreas Schuler are a strong team that can be reckoned with in the future. The Russian team, with a strong Evgeniy Klimov, who won the qualification yesterday, was sixth, Slovenia and the Czech Republic came in seventh and eighth.
Norway not in the final
The tenth place was a real disaster for Norway, last season's Nations Cup winners. The reason for this result was not the performance of the athletes, but the fact that Robert Johansson was disqualified because his suit was not compliant with the rules.
The individual competition in Wisla will take place on Sunday at 3 pm CET.