The 66th 4-Hills-Tournament lived up to the high expectations of the fans also at the second stop. Pure drama at the Olympic hill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on New Year's Day and pure drama in the overall ranking after two of the four competitions. Poland's Kamil Stoch, who won the first two competitions, leads the overall ranking of the 4-Hills-Tournament 11.8 points ahead of Richard Freitag. It seems that it all comes down to a duel of the two currently best ski jumpers.
Kamil Stoch wins ahead of Richard Freitag and Norway's Anders Fannemel. The competition on New Year's Day 2018 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen had a lot more to offer than the result of the Top 3 shows. Richard Freitag was sixth after the first round and then took the lead in the final in front of 21 000 enthusiastic fans in the sold-out Olympic stadium. He remained first until there were only two more jumpers left.
Then the wind came and it got really exciting for the fans and jury. The conditions lead to a long break and a real test of nerves for 20-year-old Slovene Tilen Bartol. Bartol surprised in second after the first round and had to wait a couple of minutes before his jump and leave the bar various times. But the Slovene did a great job and finished fifth today. An outstanding result for Tilen Bartol. Freitag was still in the lead.
So Freitag and Stoch were fighting for the win. Richard Freitag was in the leader's box, Kamil Stoch on the bar. And like already in Oberstdorf, Kamil Stoch proved his outstanding shape at the moment. He showed the best jump of the day with 139.5 m in the final and took a well-deserved win. "I'm really happy today. It was a nice competition on a really high level. I'm satisfied with my performance today, the jumps were really good. I want to thank everyone who supports me, the fans, my family and my teammates. I guess nobody focuses on the opponents, it's better the focus on yourself and on what you need to do to make your best jump", said the winner.
Richard Freitag is jumping on the expected high level during the course of this Tournament, Kamil Stoch is just a little bit better and deserved his two wins in Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The next event will be held in Innsbruck, a hill that suits Richard Freitag very well and so it will continue to be extremely exciting. "I'm really satisfied with my performance today. Kamil was very, very strong in the first and in the second round. So there's not much room for even small mistakes. At the end, January 1st, 2018 was a very nice day and it was a lot of fun. I have positive memories of Innsbruck, but that doesn't mean it will be any easier. I will try to have a good start there and to enjoy the atmosphere. I think it will remain close. Every jump counts and every point counts", said Freitag.German team strong again
Karl Geiger in seventh, Stephan Leyhe in tenth, Andreas Wellinger in eleventh, Markus Eisenbichler in 14th and the two youngsters Constantin Schmid and David Siegel in 24th and 28th provided a strong team result for the Germans.
Norway's Anders Fannemel was third and the bet of the strong Norwegian team of head coach Alexander Stoeckl. "This competition has a long tradition so it feels really good to be on the podium here. We had a really good day yesterday with Forfang winning the qualification so our team had high expectations today. I think I was able to show good jumps but Kamil and Richard are jumping on a really high level so I have to improve even more", said Fannemel.
Junshiro Kobayashi convinced again in fifth, Peter Prevc finished eighth, three places behind his teammate Tilen Bartol.Bad day for Austrian team
Stefan Kraft, before the 4-Hills-Tournament one of the favorites, missed the second round in 31st today and lost his chances to win the prestigous title. Best Austrian was Gregor Schlierenzauer in 19th (129.5 m / 127.5 m), followed by Michael Hayboeck in 20th (125 m / 130 m), Stefan Kraft was 31st (122.5 m), Clemens Aigner 35th (118.5 m), Manuel Fettner 47th (113 m) and Daniel Huber 48th (109.5 m). Head coach Heinz Kuttin was obviously disappointed after the competition: "Our mood hit rock-bottom. We have to deal with this situation now and stand together, that's what we do. We will try to get this result out of our heads. I want that we, as a team, go to Innsbruck with self-confidence and find our looseness again there. I'm satisfied with Gregor's performance. He was a bit too aggressive in the second round, otherwise, he could have jumped even further."
Tuesday will be a day of rest during the 66th 4-Hills-Tournament. The training and the qualification in Innsbruck will take place on Wednesday, the competition there follows on Thursday at 2 pm CET.
Kamil Stoch now leads the 4-Hills-Tournament ranking with 563.1 points, followed by Richard Freitag (551.3 points) and Dawid Kubacki (530.8 points).￼ ￼ ￼
Michael Hayboeck (AUT): This competition didn't go the way we wanted for us and when Stefan Kraft has a bad day as well, then it's not looking good for our team. Personally, I'm actually not that dissatisfied with today, because I know that I can't expect to be among the best all the time right now. Today I was jumping consistently on a hill that I don't really like.
Daniel Andre Tande (NOR): I'm extremely satisfied with my second jump today. It was really good to finally show a proper jump in a competition. I've been searching for a jump like this since Oberstdorf and it has been really frustrating for me. Hopefully, now I can continue to show jumps like the second one today. That's the plan. The fact that I can't fight for a top spot in the overall ranking is no problem for me. That's Ski Jumping and there's always a next year.
Andreas Wellinger (GER): It's close, but not yet as I want it to be. The second jump today was a lot more fun, the conditions were better and it was also a better jump. Now I want to continue like that in the next days. The steps are extremely small, but it's going in the right direction.
Markus Eisenbichler (GER): Today I wanted to continue where I left off yesterday. It was a little better in the second round. This is simply my current level of performance. I have to remain cool and go to the sauna today and chill a bit. It's difficult, I want to be relaxed, but at the same time, I want to achieve what I'm aiming for.