Slovenia's Anze Semenic took his first win in the World Cup in the cauldron of Zakopane. In extremely difficult and changing conditions, Semenic had two strong jumps and also benefited from the fact that many favorites were struggling with the conditions. Andreas Wellinger finished second, Peter Prevc of Slovenia came in third.
24-year-old Semenic got better and better over the last couple of weeks, but his win on the HS 140 Wielka Krokiew in Zakopane still came as a surprise. Semenic scored 245.6 points with jumps of 134.5 m and 137.5 m and moved up from fifth to first in the second round. "It was a tough competition because of the wind conditions, but fortunately, the wind was in my favor today and so I'm really happy that I could win here in Zakopane. I'm very surprised by this result because yesterday I had a lot of problems. At the Olympics I just want to show good jumps and then we'll see", said Anze Semenic, whose best World Cup result until today was an eighth place (Kulm 2018). A week ago he won silver with the Slovenian team at the Ski Flying World Championships in Oberstdorf.
Andreas Wellinger also significantly improved his result in the final round. After a ninth place in the first round, Wellinger had a great jump in the final and moved up to second overall. "The atmosphere was amazing again. The wind conditions were a bit difficult, especially in the first round. After my first jump I thought I'll be 25th or so, but then I was ninth. I think both of my jumps were on a high level today and I'm happy with the result. We have another nice weekend again in Willingen and then we go to Korea on Monday. I hope we'll have nice competitions there. I'm in a good shape, so everything is possible", said Wellinger.
Peter Prevc of Slovenia was third today. "It was really a good day for Slovenia. It is always great to jump here in Zakopane in front of this amazing crowd, it's almost like in Planica. During the course of this season I tried to get better and better from day to day", said Prevc, who is now among the favorites for the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang again.
Poland's Stefan Hula, who was surprisingly in the lead after the first round, finished fourth. 129.5 m in the final round were not enough to earn him a place on the podium, but still, it was a great evening for Hula. Top favorite and local hero Kamil Stoch had a really bad day in front of his home crowd. He jumped on only 108.5 m in the first round, was 38th and failed to qualify for the second round on his home hill. But despite this disappointing result, Stoch showed great sportsmanship and celebrated with the about 50 000 fans at the Wielka Krokiew hill. Stoch is a true champion, in victory and in defeat.Simon Ammann strong fifth - Freitag in Yellow
In these difficult conditions, Swiss Simon Ammann benefited from his huge experience and finished on a strong fifth place. Richard Freitag was 10th in this competition and took back the yellow bib for the overall World Cup leader from Kamil Stoch.
Freitag now leads the World Cup ranking with 737 points, close ahead of Stoch (733 points). Andreas Wellinger follows in third with 665 points.
The World Cup continues in Willingen (GER) next weekend, where the first edition of the Willingen 5 will take place. There will only be one qualification for both competitions and the athlete, who scored the most points in five rounds (qualification and 4 competition jumps), will receive a prize money of € 25 000,-.
The athletes will then travel right to Korea, where the first training for the Olympic competitions is held already on Wednesday, February 7th.