What a dramatic final of the 65th 4-Hills-Tournament in Bischofshofen. Double Olympic champion Kamil Stoch of Poland won the final event and also took the overall title of the 4-Hills-Tournament. Stoch jumped on 134.5 m and 138.5 m (289.2 points) and won the competition ahead of Austria's Michael Hayboeck (130.5 m and 142 m; 283.3 points) and Piotr Zyla (131 m and 137 m; 275.8 points). In the overall ranking Stoch won ahead of his teammate Piotr Zyla and Norway's Daniel Andre Tande.
Stoch superior, Tande loses shoe-clip in final jump
After the first round, the two top favorites Stoch and Tande were still close together, Austria's Stefan Kraft, who still had a theoretical chance to win the overall title, was out of the race with his 128 m jump. In the final Norwegian Daniel Andre Tande then had extremely bad luck: During his jump the clip of the binding came off. Tande lost control of his jump, could avoid a fall, but landed already on 117 m. The dream of winning the title was over for the 22-year-old, Tande was devastated.
Now Kamil Stoch only needed a solid jump on the Paul-Ausserleitner-hill. Stoch jumped on 138.5 m and won the competition in Bischofshofen and the overall title. Austria's Michael Hayboeck came in second, followed by Stoch's teammate Piotr Zyla.
"This is an outstanding result and great success for our entire team. Piotr Zyla is second and Maciej Kot fourth in the overall ranking. I think that Stefan Horngacher is the best coach in our sport, but everyone on the team played his part", Stoch said after his success. Kamil Stoch is now the second Pole after Adam Malysz to win the 4-Hills-Tournament. The 29-year-old is also one of the few ski jumpers, who could win Gold at World Championships and Olympic Games, the overall World Cup title and the 4-Hills-Tournament.
After the first moments of disappointment, Daniel Andre Tande was happy again about his great performances and the third place in the overall ranking at the award ceremony. "After my second jump I was extremely disappointed, but a few minutes later it was okay again." For Piotr Zyla the second place behind his teammate came as a big surprise. "I really didn't expect that I would be on the podium in the overall ranking. My shape is getting better and better."
Austrians celebrate podium finish
Michael Hayboeck provided a successful ending of the 4-Hills-Tournament for the Austrian hosts. He was sixth after the first round, but with an outstanding jump of 142 m in the final he moved up to second. "This was an incredible second jump and so the 4-Hills ended well for me. Stefan Kraft and I were really not feeling well at lunch today. Now it's about getting healthy again. I gave my all in this competition. My fanclub was here and this was definitely an extra motivation for me", said the Austrian, who could not compete in Innsbruck on Wednesday due to a stomach flu.
Hayboeck's teammate Stefan Kraft was third in the overall ranking behind Tande and Stoch before this final event, but after he was only 25 on his home hill today, the local hero finished sixth overall. Best Austrian in the 65th 4-Hills-Tournament was Manuel Fettner (12th in Bischofshofen) in fifth.
Tepes loses half-time lead, Prevc in "Yellow" again
After the first half of this exciting final it seemed it would be a successful day for Slovenia on the Paul-Ausserleitner-hill. With a great jump of 141 m, Jurij Tepes surprisingly was in the lead. Although he was not able to defend this result in the final, the 27-year-old seemed very satisfied with his seventh place. His teammate Domen Prevc came in fourth and missed the podium by only 0.6 points. With this performance the 17-year-old regained the "Yellow Bib" for the overall World Cup leader.
The German athletes were not among the very best in this final event of the 4-Hills-Tournament, but with Richard Freitag (6th), Stephan Leyhe (8th) and Karl Geiger (9th) three athletes of head coach Werner Schuster landed in the Top 10. Andreas Wellinger, the winner of the qualification and new hill record holder, failed to qualify for the second round in 31st with a jump of 123 m.
The ski jumpers will now have a couple of days to rest, before the World Cup continues next weekend in Poland, where two competitions will be held in front of definitely enthusiastic fans in Wisla on January 14th and 15th.