Daniel Andre Tande of Norway is en route to winning his first big international title. After two of the four competition rounds, the 23-year-old leads the Ski Flying World Championships in Oberstdorf (GER) ahead of Richard Freitag (GER) and Kamil Stoch of Poland.
Already in the qualification earlier, Tande set a highlight with his jump of 238.5 m (new hill record) and made clear who will be the one to best today. With two flights of 212 m and 227 m Daniel Andre Tande was then the best in the two competition rounds. After the first day, the Norwegian leads with a total of 449.6 points, followed by Richard Freitag (228 m and 225 m; 438.7 points).
"The hill record was amazing, the flight was incredible. I felt right at the take-off that it's going to go far so I just had to tighten every muscle in the body and go with it. The landing is a bit sticky so I went for a safe landing. I think we can jump even farther. In the next days, I'm just going to try to have fun and hopefully I'll be able to make more jumps like this", Tande said after his successful day.
For Richard Freitag (438.7 points, 10.9 points or approx. 9 meters behind Tande) this second place was a great comeback after a two-week break following his crash at the 4-Hills-Tournament event in Innsbruck (AUT). "I had two nice flights, it's just a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to the days ahead. Concerning the gate changes, you can only trust the officials. I was not affected directly, but I think everything was decided correctly", Freitag said about his performance and the decisions of the jury.
The competition management had to handle difficult conditions with constantly changing wind directions and speed. These conditions made many gate changes necessary.
4-Hills-Tournament winner Kamil Stoch jumped on 230 m and 219 m and is in a good position in third with 431.8 points. Stefan Kraft is currently in a strong fourth place and this gives him a realistic chance to fly to the podium on Saturday, even if he is already almost 20 points behind third-placed Kamil Stoch.
With Robert Johansson and Andreas Stjernen in fifth and sixth, the Norwegians once again demonstrated their outstanding position as a team, especially in Ski Flying. Defending champion Peter Prevc confirmed his upward trend in seventh, but he only has a theoretical chance to defend his title. The athletes ahead of him are simply too strong and he is already too far behind (50 points) Daniel Andre Tande
Second-best German is Andreas Wellinger in eighth: "We saw some nice flights here, although the conditions were not easy. Especially Richard Freitag was jumping really well. It's a great feeling when you are up at the start and here the many fans. You don't have to see if someone has jumped over 200 meters, you can hear it. They are screaming down there", said Wellinger, who was impressed by the atmosphere at the Heini-Klopfer-hill in Oberstdorf.Hayboeck crashes
Austria's Michael Hayboeck got off lightly when he crashed in the first round. Hayboeck fell after the landing, but to the relief of the fans, he was able to get up again right away. A first medical examination showed an elbow injury with a rupture of a muscle fiber. "Michael sustained a rupture of a muscle fiber in his forearm. We will see how long the swelling is preventing a full extension of the elbow joint and how it affects Michael when he's jumping", explained team doctor Bernhard Pachinger.
The new World Champion will be crowned in the competition rounds 3 and 4 on Saturday (start at 4 pm CET). The team event will then follow on Sunday (start at 4 pm CET).