The German Ski Jumping team, with Markus Eisenbichler, Stephan Leyhe, Andreas Wellinger and Richard Freitag, won the team competition in Zakopane (POL) this evening. In front of over 40 000 fans, the team of head coach Werner Schuster took a hard-fought win ahead of Poland and Slovenia.
For Germany this was the eleventh win a team competition in the World Cup. "The guys rewarded themselves. This is a huge success in front of a great crowd", Werner Schuster said after the competition.
The Germans scored a total of 1116.3 points and after eight jumps they had a lead of 5.1 points over Poland, represented by Piotr Zyla, Maciej Kot, Dawid Kubacki and Kamil Stoch. With this performance today, the German athletes could repeat their win from last year in Zakopane. Only 8.5 points behind Poland, the team of Slovenia, Jurij Tepes, Jernej Damjan, Peter Prevc and Domen Prevc, came in third.
"The competition went really well for us. It was hard for me to be the first jumper because my jumps in training yesterday were really bad. I was a bit nervous in the first round and I had not my best jumps today but they were consistent. The other guys did a very good job. Poland and Slovenia were also jumping on a high level. I'm really happy that we can win also when Severin is not there", said Markus Eisenbichler.
Piotr Zyla summed up the competition for the second-placed Poles: "My jumps were very good today, I think they were some of my best this season. But also the others of our team showed good jumps today. The atmosphere is always amazing in Zakopane, I always like competing at home. I didn't think too much aber the yellow bib we were wearing today, I was focusing on my jumps, not on the bib."
For Slovenia Jernej Damjan said: "I'm really very happy about this result. Jurij made a mistake in the second round, but he was jumping with a high fever, so he did a really good job. It's nice to see the Slovenian team strong again and we are proud. Everything here is amazing, I can't find the right words to explain how nice it is to jump here", Damjan was impressed by the over 40 000 enthusiastic fans. Peter Prevc showed an impressive performance today and returned to the World Cup after his short break with two great jumps. Prevc now has to be considered one of the top favorites for Sunday's competition.
With the teams of Austria and Norway in fourth and fifth two other top teams were jumping on a high level. Both were fighting for a podium result for a large part of the competition, but at the end they could not keep up with the best. The best athletes of these two teams were Michael Hayboeck and Daniel Andre Tande. Both will have to be reckoned with in the fight for the top spots on Sunday.
The teams of the Czech Republic, Russia and Japan finished on the places six, seven and eight. Finland, the USA and Kazakhstan failed to qualify for the final round.
Poland still leads the Nation's Cup with 2747 points, followed by Austria (2479 points) and Germany (2429 points).
The second competition in Zakopane starts on Sunday at 4:00 pm CET.