Heinz Kuttin: Being that far behind is alarming

The Olympic Games in PyeongChang went everything but well for the Austrian team. For the first time since 2002, the ski jumpers of the Austrian Ski Association will return home from Olympics without a medal and so the disappointment is obviously huge right now.

Head coach Heinz Kuttin is only satisfied with the performance of two of his athletes at the moment, as he stated in an interview with Austrian TV station ORF right after the team event on Monday evening: "I'm very satisfied with Michael Hayboeck and also with Stefan Kraft, I feel a bit sorry for these two guys. We don't like what Gregor Schlierenzauer and Manuel Fettner are doing right now. They don't perform on the same level in the competition, that they show in the training sometimes and that's something that should get us thinking."

"They didn't show their best performance when it mattered, and that with all the experience, all the wins and everything they have done in the past. Then I'm really very, very sorry when we are that far behind the Top 3 in a team competition. Being 100 points behind the podium is very alarming", said Kuttin, who also considers the high expectations of the athletes as a reason for the weak performances. "In some training jumps, the performances were good and they were in and around the Top 10. But for some athletes this is not good enough, they are always dreaming of being on top."

The work of the coaches is also analyzed after such disappointing results: "Of course I also question my own work, I'm the head of it all. Also the rest of the coaching staff is a part of it. What's remarkable is that we are having a very good speed, we also have very good suits, but we are lacking the looseness in Ski Jumping. That only works with heart and with confidence, and that's on the athlete."

After the goals could not have been reached in any of the major highlights so far this winter, Heinz Kuttin now wants to give young athletes the chance to prove themselves on the highest level in the remaining weeks of this World Cup season. "There comes a point when you have to focus a bit on the young guys, and I think that's what we will do in the future. I will speak to Florian Liegl, the head of the second training group, about who can compete in the World Cup now. We have about a week now to think about that and then we'll see with which team we will be competing in Lahti, at the Raw Air, and in Planica."

Gregor Schlierenzauer also mentioned that changes have to be made now, but he didn't want to discuss any details right after the final competition in PyeongChang. "This is a dangerous question because I'm very emotional and I had my fingers burnt before. We all need to point the finger at ourselves and analyze everything precisely."