Perfect start for Karl Geiger at his home Grand Prix in Hinterzarten (GER). The 25-year-old Oberstdorf native claimed the win in the qualification with the longest jump of the day of 104 m and a total of 132.2 points.
With this performance, the German, who was already jumping strong a week ago in Wisla, came in ahead of Olympic champion Kamil Stoch, who scored 127.6 points for his jump of 101 m. Evgeniy Klimov surprised in his first appearance this summer. The Russian jumped on the same distance as Stoch and finished third with 126.9 points.
The fourth place went to Dawid Kubacki of Poland, the once again good team result of the athletes of head coach Stefan Horngacher was completed by Stefan Hula (7th), Maciej Kot (9th) and Piotr Zyla (11th).
Stephan Leyhe of Germany was strong fifth. Andreas Wank and David Siegel were eighth and tenth and so the German team showed a strong performance in front of the home crowd also without Andreas Wellinger, who is currently touring the USA with FC Bayern Munich, and Markus Eisenbichler, who is focusing on his police training right now.
Best Austrian on Friday evening was Stefan Kraft in sixth, the best performance of the Japanese team was shown by Yukiya Sato in 12th, followed by the best Slovene, Timi Zajc, who came in 13th. It was also a successful day for Zajc' teammate Ernest Prislic. The 24-year-old was in a medically induced coma in December 2016 after he was struck by a car in Planica. This evening he was 42nd and qualified for the competition on the "Adlerschanze".
Surprisingly, young Norwegian Marius Lindvik, who presented himself in a very good shape in Wisla recently, was among the seven athletes who failed to make the cut for Saturday's competition.
The men's competition in Hinterzarten will start at 5:20 pm CET (trial round: 4 pm CET).