The Olympic champions from Norway were unbeatable in the team competition on the "Monsterbakken" in Vikersund. Daniel Andre Tande, Johann Andre Forfang, Andreas Stjernen and Robert Johansson showed an outstanding performance on the HS 240 Ski Flying hill on Saturday. The Norwegians scored a total of 1567.3 points and had a record lead of 265.6 points over the second-placed team of Poland. The third place went to Slovenia. The German ski flyers came in fourth, ahead of Austria.
With Andreas Wellinger and Karl Geiger, two athletes of the German team had a bad day, and so they were already far behind after the first two competitors. Markus Eisenbichler and Richard Freitag jumped well, but it was not enough to achieve a Top 3 result because of the strength of the other teams. For Germany, this team event in Vikersund was characteristic for the entire RAW AIR 2018, Kamil Stoch and the Norwegians are too strong this year.
Obviously, the Norwegian jumpers were more than just satisfied with their fantastic performance in front of their home crowd today. None of the eight flights of the team of Alexander Stoeckl was shorter than 224 m. "It's amazing, I don't think it's possible to be better than we were today", said Daniel Andre Tande. His teammate Andreas Stjernen added: "I'm happy, it was a difficult day because the wind was changing a bit. We had eight fun jumps and that's perfect. I'm still fighting for the podium in the overall ranking so I'm looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully we'll have the same conditions again."
Behind the Norwegians, Poland and Slovenia were fighting for the second place. And this fight wasn't decided until the very last jump of both teams. At the end high-flyer Kamil Stoch won the duel of the final jumpers against Peter Prevc and secured the second place for his Polish team. "It was a crazy competition, in the end everything went really well for us and we came in second. We fought until the end and every one of us did his best. We can be happy with the job we did. I still feel good and, as always, I will do my best tomorrow again. But after that, it will also be nice to go back home to my wife.
Peter Prevc was also very satisfied with the result, even though the second place would have been possible: "I'm really happy that our team could take the third place today. It was a really close fight, unfortunately, we lost against Poland for the second place in the final group. But nevertheless, this third place is a great result. I hope that I can fly far tomorrow, this will be the perfect ending of the RAW AIR."
The teams of Austria (Stefan Kraft, Michael Hayboeck, Manuel Fettner, Philipp Aschenwald), Japan (Yukiya Sato, Junshiro Kobayashi, Ryoyu Kobayashi, Noriaki Kasai), Russia (Alexey Romashov, Mikhail Nazarov, Evgeniy Klimov, Denis Kornilov) and Switzerland (Gregor Deschwanden, Sandro Hauswirth, Andreas Schuler, Simon Ammann) finished on the places five to eight.
The Italian team of head coach Lukasz Kruczek was ninth and failed to qualify for the final round.
Before the final Ski Flying competition on Sunday, Kamil Stoch leads the overall ranking of the RAW AIR with 2165.0 points, Robert Johansson follows in second (2109.3 points). In today's team competition, Johansson was able to make up for 33.4 points compared to Stoch.
Sunday competition starts at 4:30 pm CET (Trial round at 3:30 pm CET).