Anze Lanisek of Slovenia won the qualification for the New Year's competition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen just ahead of World Cup leader Halvor Egner Granerud und Markus Eisenbichler.
The 69th 4-Hills-Tournament remains exciting. Anze Lanisek (SLO), Halvor Egner Granerud (NOR), Markus Eisenbichler (GER), Stefan Kraft (AUT), Karl Geiger (GER), and Kamil Stoch (POL) were the Top 6 in today's qualification in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. All of them have ambitions to finish among the very best in the overall ranking of the 69th 4-Hills-Tournament. Kamil Stoch in sixth (tied with Ryoyu Kobayashi) and today's winner Anze Lanisek were only separated by 4.5 points, it's extremely close between the top athletes. That's perfect for tomorrow's competition.
Norway's Marius Lindvik is now not on the list of the top favorites of this 4-Hills-Tournament anymore. Lindvik has been struggling with tooth pain since Christmas and now it has become so bad that the Norwegian, who won in Garmisch-Partenkirchen last season, could not take part in the qualification and will therefore also miss the competition tomorrow.
This 4-Hills-Tournament is not going as they had hoped for two Olympic champions: Simon Ammann of Switzerland and Germany's Andreas Wellinger failed to qualify for the New Year's competition in 52nd and 53 today.
There was also yet another Covid case:
As part of the routine Covid-19 tests that all team members undergo on a regular basis, a Russian athlete tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday (Wednesday).
"The athlete in question is in quarantine. In addition, 3 other members of the Russian ski jumping team, including another athlete, have been classified as category I contacts and have also been quarantined," Dr. med Martin Fleckenstein, head of the Medical Committee of the Organizing Committee of the New Year's Ski Jumping, announced in Partenkirchen this morning.
"We are in constant contact with the health authority Garmisch-Partenkirchen and have coordinated the decision together. The authority will decide in the course of the day on the further procedure with the affected persons and then inform accordingly about the further steps.
The New Year's competition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen starts on Friday at 2 pm CET.
Statemens after the qualification in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER):
Halvor Egner Granerud: All my jumps today have been great. In the qualification, I thought I got the hill record so I played it safe at the landing, which was stupid. With a telemark, I could have gotten six to seven points more. It was a really good day for me, a lot better than in Oberstdorf.
Karl Geiger: I'm very satisfied, all three jumps were at a good level. They were not perfect yet, but that's a good sign. I will now prepare myself well for tomorrow and then take it jump after the jump. In the end, we will see the outcome.
Markus Eisenbichler: I was really struggling today. My thigh muscles were extremely tight and the physical therapist did a really good job today. Yesterday it didn't feel that bad, but we are close to the limit with the competitions, training, and traveling.
Martin Hamann: It was a solid day for me, I ended the year relatively well. Now I can sleep well tonight and attack again tomorrow. In the competition, I want to be fast in the inrun, have a good take-off, fly far, have a beautiful landing, and then smile and celebrate.
Richard Freitag: The second training jump was better at the take-off, the jump in the qualification was a bit better in the flight. One thing is always working better for me than the other. But now I'm satisfied, I can't expect any miracles, I just have to continue working.
Andreas Wellinger: It's quite tough for me right now, but I have to face it. It's not easy, but I'll continue working. Sooner or later I'll do better again, I'm sure about that. Right now I have problems keeping the inrun position stable through the radius and then have the right pressure at the take-off.
Michael Hayboeck: I had a difficult competition in Oberstdorf, so the day off yesterday was actually not good for me. In Oberstdorf, you saw how it can go in Ski Jumping when you don't have any luck with the conditions and make a bad jump. You just can't make any mistakes. The first training jump today was also not that good, but I'm really happy about the jump in the qualification now.
Andreas Widhoelzl (Coach AUT): Of course, my start as head coach was different than expected, but I'm satisfied. It was fun and we worked well as a team. Despite the circumstances, it has been cool, but there are some things I don't need to have again next year. It was a challenging year, but there were also many good things. Now we are looking ahead and start the new year with a lot of energy tomorrow.