Many ski jumpers took a day off on Friday before the final team competition at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti (FIN) on Saturday evening, some used the chance to train one more time.
Best athlete in the first of the two rounds on the HS 130 was Markus Eisenbichler with a jump of 127.5 m. Robert Johansson of Norway jumped only half a meter shorter than the German bronze medalist of the normal hill event. They were followed by Eisenbichler's teammate Karl Geiger with 124 m and Roman Koudelka of the Czech Republic with 125 m.
In the second round Richard Freitag of Germany had the best jump with 125.5 m. Roman Koudelka also landed on 125.5 m and came in second. The third place went to Germany's Stephan Leyhe, who jumped on 126 m, but had slightly better wind conditions than Freitag and Koudelka. Robert Johansson (124 m) and Karl Geiger (120.5 m) were also among the best again.
The strong jumps today were not enough for Karl Geiger to secure a spot on the German team for Saturday's event. Markus Eisenbichler, Stephan Leyhe, Richard Freitag and Andreas Wellinger were named to the team by head coach Werner Schuster. "Richard Freitag earned his place on the team in a close and fair competition with Karl Geiger. Obviously Karl is disappointed now, but he accepted the decision and will support the team", explained Werner Schuster.
Also Robert Johansson will miss the team competition despite a good performance in today's training. The Norwegian Ski Association already announced earlier on Friday that Andreas Stjernen, Anders Fannemel, Johann Andre Forfang and Daniel Andre Tande will get the chance to fight for a medal on Saturday.
Poland will be represented by bronze medalist Piotr Zyla, Dawid Kubacki, Maciej Kot and Kamil Stoch. All four finished in the Top 8 of the individual competition on the large hill and made the team the top favorite to win gold.
Gregor Schlierenzauer, who was seventh in both training rounds today, will return to the Austrian team and replace Markus Schiffner, who was 22nd on Thursday and didn't jump today. Besides Schlierenzauer, double World Champion Stefan Kraft, Michael Hayboeck and Manuel Fettner will be competing in the team event.