Germany's Markus Eisenbichler won the first qualification in Nizhny Tagil (RUS). With a jump of 133.5 m (143.5 points), the 26-year-old took the win ahead of Johann Andre Forfang of Norway (132 m; 141.4 points) and his teammate Pius Paschke (132.5 m; 141.3 points).
Lead by Eisenbichler and Paschke, the athletes of the German Ski Association showed an outstanding performance on the perfectly prepared HS 134 hill in Nizhny Tagil. Richard Freitag came in fourth, Andreas Wellinger, Karl Geiger and Stephan Leyhe also had some strong jumps and finished 10th, 11th and 12th.
Kamil Stoch was once again the best Pole in fifth, Dawid Kubacki presented himself in a strong shape and was seventh. Maciej Kot, Piotr Zyla and Stefan Hula were 18th, 22nd and 26th. Stefan Kraft had a good jump of 131 m and was the best Austrian in sixth. Jernej Damjan of Slovenia, who won in Kuusamo last weekend, was very good again and finished ninth with 130 m.
Team Japan trains for the Olympics
The A-team of Japan is not competing in Russia this weekend and trains at home instead. This means that overall World Cup leader Junshiro Kobayashi is also not in Nizhny Tagil and so he will lose the yellow leader's bib. Best of the Japanese team today was Yukiya Sato in 29th.
Qualification on the highest level
in perfect conditions and frosty temperatures of -8°C, the athletes had to jump clearly over the K-point (120 m) in order to make the cut for the Top 50 and qualify for Saturday's competition. Czech Lukas Hlava failed to qualify in 52nd, despite a jump of 121.5 m.
The competition on Saturday starts at 4:15 pm CET (8:15 pm LOC).
The second qualification for Sunday's competition will take place on Sunday at 2:30 pm CET (6:30 pm LOC).