The team event on Saturday evening in Lahti was a good start of the final period of the World Cup after the great Olympic competitions in PyeongChang. In again cold temperatures of about -12°C and with good wind conditions, the German team, represented by Karl Geiger, Markus Eisenbichler, Richard Freitag and Andreas Wellinger, took a well-deserved win with a total of 1124.5 points. The team of Poland (Maciej Kot, Stefan Hula, Dawid Kubacki, Kamil Stoch; 1113.2 points) was second, the third place went to the Olympic champions from Norway (Andreas Stjernen, Daniel Andre Tande, Johann Andre Forfang, Robert Johansson; 1082.6 points).
For the Germans, this was the first win since Zakopane 2017. The athletes of head coach Werner Schuster could end a winless streak of eight team competitions.
Germany claimed an impressive victory, that was never in jeopardy. Their first two jumpers, Karl Geiger and Markus Eisenbichler, already earned a good lead, that was then defended by Richard Freitag and Olympic champion Andreas Wellinger. "It was a really good competition for the entire German team. Everyone did his best and jumped really well. It's our first victory this season and we are very happy and satisfied. After the Olympics we took a break and didn't jump at all so it was a bit hard yesterday", explained Karl Geiger.
The team of Poland around Olympic champion Kamil Stoch once again proved its strength with another great team performance. "It was a good competition, also for the fans. The performances were on a high level and we saw many far jumps. I'm really satisfied with my jumps and the performance of my teammates. The second place is very good and it was nice to stand on the podium. Tomorrow I hope to jump even better, there' still a lot to improve", said Maciej Kot.
The newly crowned Olympic champions from Norway were only fifth after the first half of the competition, mainly due to the performances of Andreas Stjernen and Daniel Andre Tande, who had a very bad first jump. But both fought back bravely in the final and so the team could secure the third place. "After Tande's bad jump in the first round we knew it will be difficult to come back, but we didn't give up. We also knew that all four guys on our team are in a good shape and there's always the possibility that someone from another team makes a bad jump or has a fall. We managed to stay focused and so we finished on the podium", Johann Andre Forfang said after the competition.
Austria was third after the first round, but fell back in the final and came in fourth, which is still a good result for the Austrian team. The team of Japan, with newcomer Yukiya Sato, who did a great job, Taku Takeuchi and the Kobayashi brothers, presented itself in a strong shape and finished fifth.
Slovenia was sixth, followed by Switzerland in seventh. Youngster Sandro Hauswirth showed a great performance for the Swiss team this evening.
It was a disappointing competition for the hosts from Finland. With 402.2 points, the local heroes came in ninth, 2.5 points behind Russia, and failed to qualify for the final round. The teams of Italy (10th), the USA (11th) and Kazakhstan (12th) also didn't qualify for the second round.
Germany now got closer to the leading Norwegians in the Nations Cup. Norway now leads with 4449 points, ahead of Germany (4290 points) and Poland (3764 points).
The second competition in Lahti will start on Sunday at 3:30 pm CET (4:30 pm LOC).