Timi Zajc soars to his first World Cup win
Timi Zajc

18-year-old Slovene Timi Zajc won the first Ski Flying event of the season on Friday evening. On the Heini-Klopfer-hill in Oberstdorf, Zajc posted jumps of 220 m and 233.5 m (430.1 points) and finished ahead of Poland's Dawid Kubacki and Markus Eisenbichler of Germany.

With his performance today, Zajc could win the first ever Ski Flying competition he took part in. Just about a week ago, the Slovene achieved the first podium result of his career with the second place in Sapporo (JPN). "This was a crazy day today with my Ski Flying debut, my personal best distance, and the win. What a great experience. The second place in Sapporo last weekend gave me additional motivation. In my opinion, the conditions today were difficult for everybody", the happy winner said right after the competition.

Markus Eisenbichler had already shown in training and in the qualification, that he has to be reckoned with in today's competition. The 27-year-old jumped on 224.5 m and 222.5 m and finished third. "To be honest, a day like today with five flights is pretty tough. I think that I'll return to the hotel now, lay down and let this day sink in. I'm happy that I had some good flights today and I'm looking forward to tomorrow", said Eisenbichler.
Stephan Leyhe was eleventh, Andreas Wellinger continued his positive trend in 13th, Karl Geiger was 16th and Richard Freitag 22nd.

The Polish team showed an outstanding team performance with Kubacki in second, Piotr Zyla in fourth and Kamil Stoch in fifth. Stoch and Zyla were leading after the first round, so, even more, might have been possible today.

"I'm very satisfied today, but I also know that I can still be better. I always have to work to be better on the next day. But today, I'll definitely return to the hotel happy", explained Dawid Kubacki. About the possibility that Poland's head coach Stefan Horngacher might replace Werner Schuster as coach of the German team after this season Kubacki said: "Stefan Horngacher is a very good coach, you can see that at the hill and in our results. We are working very well with him. Of course, the Germans can think about hiring him, but he also has many good reasons to stay with us."

Dawid Kubacki, Timi Zajc, Markus Eisenbichler

Stefan Kraft, who won both competitions in Sapporo last weekend, was sixth, his teammate Daniel Huber convinced in ninth. The two Norwegians Johann Andre Forfang and Halvor Egner Granerud came in seventh and eighth. Daniel Andre Tande returned to the World Cup after a short break with the tenth place. 

With five flights, it was an exhausting day for the athletes. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be only three rounds a day with the qualification and two competition jumps.

Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi, who was 14th today, leads the overall World Cup with 1252 points, ahead of Austrian Stefan Kraft and the three Poles Kamil Stoch, Piotr Zyla, and Dawid Kubacki.

The competitions on Saturday and Sunday start at 4 pm CET. 

Full results