The Austrian Ski Jumping championships were held this weekend in Bischofshofen (large hill) and Villach (normal hill). The best athlete on both days was Michael Hayboeck.
In the large hill competition in Bischofshofen on Saturday, the 26-year-old showed jumps of 137 m and 135.5 m and took the national title with a total of 275.3 points. "When you are having some problems and you are not among the best, that's obviously not good for the self-confidence. If you then have a competition like today, in which you finish on top unexpectedly, it really helps a lot. Jumping well in the Austrian championships soon before the start of the winter season gives you the necessary self-confidence", Hayboeck said after his first success of the weekend.
Gregor Schlierenzauer was in the lead after the first round with 137.5 m, 135.5 m in the second round and 274.0 points then earned him the second place overall. Stefan Kraft, who was third with 270.5 points, jumped on 132 m in the first round, in the final last winter's overall World Cup winner then had the longest jump of the day with 140 m.
The Top 3 came in clearly ahead of the rest of the field. More than 15 points behind third-placed Stefan Kraft, Daniel Huber finished fourth. He was followed by Clemens Aigner, Manuel Poppinger and Markus Rupitsch.
A day later, Michael Hayboeck was also unbeatable on the HS 98 hill in Villach. With 101.5 m and 96 m he had the best jumps in both rounds and so he landed on top of the podium for the second time in a row with 264.4 points. "The result yesterday was surprising because I didn't have a lot of good jumps recently. Now I'm very happy with how this weekend went for me. This perfect at the point of time", said the newly crowned two-time Austrian champion.
Stefan Kraft moved up one spot compared to Saturday's event and finished second with 101 m and 94.5 m and 257.0 points. The third place went to Manuel Fettner, who was only tenth on the large hill, with 95.5 m and 98 m (250.1 points).
Daniel Huber once again missed the podium by only one place and was fourth again, Clemens Aigner also repeated his result from Bischofshofen in fifth, Stefan Huber was sixth. Gregor Schlierenzauer did not take part in Villach because of back problems.
Head coach Heinz Kuttin was satisfied with the performances of his athletes, although there's still room for improvement: "When you look at the Grand Prix in Klingenthal and then see how Michael Hayboeck was jumping here, then that's sensational. That's good for his self-confidence. The rest of the team was also jumping well, but you can tell that there are still some small details missing."
Chiara Hoelzl won the ladies' competition with 92 m and 79.5 m and 207.1 points. Jacqueline Seifriedsberger took silver with 89 m and 82.5 m (203.7 points), the third place went to Elisabeth Raudaschl with 176.2 points (82.5 m and 77.5 m).