The 2020/21 World Cup season kicked off for the ski jumpers on Friday evening with the training and qualification in Wisla (POL). And it was a perfect start for the hosts on the Adam-Malysz-hill.
Local hero Kamil Stoch won the qualification with the longest jump of the round of 132 m and 135.3 points. Japan's Yukiya Sato surprised with a very strong jump of 129 m and 128.6 points, which earned him the second place today.
Markus Eisenbichler, who has already presented himself in great shape during the training rounds, jumped on 129.5 m (128.4 points) and was the best German in this winter's first qualification in third. "I'm quite satisfied, I focused on what we have been working on. That was a good start. The new restrictions regarding the corona virus don't affect me. That's the time we live in right now and you have to adjust to it", said the 29-year-old.
With Karl Geiger in fifth, another German jumper came in among the best this evening.
A very good team performance was shown by the Austrians. With Michael Hayboeck (4th), Daniel Huber (9th), Jan Hoerl (11th), and Philipp Aschenwald (12th) four of them finished in the Top 12 today. This performance makes the athletes of the new head coach Andreas Widhoelzl one of the top contenders in Saturday's team event.
Of course, the Poles have to be reckoned with as well. Besides Stoch, Dawid Kubacki (5th) and Piotr Zyla (10th) could also show convincing performances.
Peter Prevc was the best of a disappointing Slovenian team in 16th, on the other hand, it was a good day for the two Canadians in the field. Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes (20th) and Matthew Soukup (49th) could both qualify for the individual competition on Sunday.
In his first appearance in the World Cup since March 2019, Andreas Wellinger also made the cut for the competition in 38th. The Olympic champion was satisfied with his performance on the first day of the season. "My jumps today were solid, it was a small step in the right direction. It was a bit nervous since it was my first official jump after the long break."
For Simon Ammann, it was a bad start into the winter. The Swiss veteran failed to make the cut for the competition in 56th. Anze Semenic of Slovenia and Japan's Naoki Nakamura could also not qualify today.
Before it's about claiming this season's first individual win on Sunday (4 pm CET), a team competition will be held in Wisla on Saturday (4 pm CET).