The team of Norway, with Robert Johansson, Johann Andre Forfang, Anders Fannemel and Andreas Stjernen, won the final team competition of the 2016/17 season on Saturday with 1551.6 points. In a breathtaking competition the Norwegians came in ahead of Germany (1502.6 points) and Poland (1493.8 points). The 25 000 enthusiastic fans also saw a new amazing hill record of 251.5 m, set by Poland's Kamil Stoch.
The second-to-last competition of the season was an incredible spectacle. The sunny and warm day in Planica (SLO) already started with a spectacular trial round, in which Norway's Robert Johansson set a new hill record on the HS 225 Letalnica with 250 m. Only about a minute later Markus Eisenbichler improved the German distance record to 248 m. But the record chasing was far from over then.
First Austria's Stefan Kraft set another record with 251 m in the final round, a few minutes later Kamil Stoch landed at 251.5 m.
But the Norwegians were unbeatable today and showed a close team performance. "Today was a great day for us. It already had an amazing start with the 250 m in the trial round and my jumps in the competition were very good as well. The whole team had some solid jumps today and so we could take the win", said Johansson.
For the German team (Markus Eisenbichler, Richard Freitag, Karl Geiger and Andreas Wellinger) this second place was the first podium in a team Ski Flying event since 2012 and, of course, head coach Werner Schuster was satisfied: "Being on the podium is great, we were pretty far behind in the recent years." Besides Eisenbichler and Wellinger, Karl Geiger showed a convincing performance for Germany. Geiger, who disappointed in Vikersund (NOR) last weekend, made amends for that with great jumps of 243.5 m and 231 m. "Honestly I didn't expect to jump that far today, I'm surprised myself. It was a great day for myself and the team", Geiger said after the competition.
The third place went to Poland (Piotr Zyla, Dawid Kubacki, Maciej Kot, Kamil Stoch) with yet another great performance, lead by Kamil Stoch, who set the highlight with his 251.5 m flight. "We did a very good job during the whole season and we were working hard. We are really happy and satisfied with how this season went for us", said Piotr Zyla. The team of Poland now leads the Nations Cup with 5727 points and Austria only has a theoretical chance to take this title in the final competition.
Austria came in fourth, followed by the local heroes of Slovenia. Japan finished sixth, ahead of the US Americans, who qualified for the final of the best eight teams and could score 100 points with their seventh place today. A great success for the US boys. The Czech Republic was eighth.
The teams of Italy, Switzerland, Finland and Russia could not qualify for the final round.
The last competition of the season will take place on Sunday at 10:00 am CET (Trial round at 9:00 am CET).