Poland's Maciej Kot took his second win in the World Cup within only a week. After his first victory last Saturday in Sapporo (JPN), Kot stood on top of the podium for the second time during this Asia-Tour in PyeongChang (KOR). Stefan Kraft of Austria and Germany's Andreas Wellinger came in second and third. Due to the strong wind, the competition was moved from the large hill (HS 140) to the normal hill (HS 109) in the Alpensia Jumping Park in PyeongChang.
In the inrun area there were wind gusts of up to 20 m/s on Thursday, but the effecitve wind nets at the hills in PyeongChang made it possible to carry out a competition. "Of course it was difficult today and you needed a bit of luck to finish among the best, but that's part of the game. I had this luck especially in the final round", said Maciej Kot. He added: "I'm in a really good shape at the moment, both jumps were good. In Sapporo I said that I hope it's not my last win and today I won again, this is amazing." Kot moved up to first from fifth after the first round.
Andreas Wellinger also came from behind in today's final. He was only 16th after the first round and with the longest jump of the day of 112 m in the final he could move up to third overall. "I was definitely frustrated after the first round. The jump was not that good, but extremely aggressive at the take-off. It would have worked better on large or ski flying hill. The wind conditions were also not good. I focused on the second round and I had a bit more luck then. I didn't expect that I could move up all the way to the third place. I'm in a very good shape and when all the details work out in a jump then it goes really far. When I do a good jump at the World Championships, then a lot is possible there for me. There are many jumpers, who can be on the podium and those who will have their best jumps will come out on top," Wellinger said after the competition.
Austria's Stefan Kraft remains the top favorite for the World Championships in Lahti (FIN) starting next week. After his win yesterday, Kraft showed another convincing performance today and finished second. "It was not that difficult to adjust to the normal hill. My first jump in the qualification was very good, it worked well right from the start. In the first round it wasn't easy because of the gate change and the delays, but my jump was very good. My second jump was not that perfect but being on the podium again is amazing. I'd rather be considered a top favorite for the World Championships than going there in a bad shape. I'm looking forward to in, but many others are strong as well. It will be very interesting, 10 to 15 athletes will be fighting for the medals", said Kraft, who was on the podium for the seventh time in a row.
Slovenia's Peter Prevc and Daniel Andre Tande of Norway weren't that lucky in the final. Prevc was in the lead after the first round and came in fourth, Tande was second with a very good first jump and finished fifth overall, but still both can be satisfied with their results. World Cup leader Kamil Stoch was sixth, ahead of Russia's Evgeniy Klimov, who is consistently jumping on a high level this winter. Dawid Kubacki was eighth and completed the next very good team result for Poland. Piotr Zyla was the fourth-best of the Polish team in 18th.
Andreas Wank benefited from the change to the normal hill and seized the opportunity with a ninth place, that could be valuable for him when it comes to the nomination for the German team for the WSC in Lahti. Robert Johansson moved up from 20th to tenth in the second round.
Anze Lanisek of Slovenia, who equalled his career-best result with a fourth place on Wednesday, was among the best in the first round today in fifth, but in the final he had bad luck with the conditions and finished only 14th. Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes shared a similar fate today. The Canadian was eighth in the first round and had a good chance to achieve the second Top 10 result of his career, but he also lost some ground in the final and ended up 26th.
Simon Ammann, Vincent Descombes Sevoie, Jan Ziobro, Noriaki Kasai and Jurij Tepes didn't gain positive experiences today on the normal hill for the next Winter Olympics. They were among those, who failed to qualify for the final round of the Top 30.
Overall it was a positive test for the facility of the Olympic Games 2018 in PyeongChang, the Korean organizers did a very good job. Athletes and fans can look forward to great Olympic competitions at this venue.
Kamil Stoch remains in the lead of the overall World Cup with 1280 points, followed by Stefan Kraft (1220 points) and Daniel Andre Tande (1119 points).
For the ski jumpers the World Championships in Lahti (FIN) already start next Wednesday with the first official training.