Damjan with coolness to the win
34-year-old Slovene Jernej Damjan provided a big surprise at the World Cup in Ruka. With jumps of 140 m and 142 m, Damjan took a well-deserved win against the world's elite. With 301.4 points, he had a lead of 2.8 points over Johann Andre Forfang (136.5 m and 142 m) and Andreas Wellinger (140 m and 140 m; 293.0 points).
Damjan, who was already leading after the first round, benefited from his newly-discovered looseness: "In the last few weeks, I have enjoyed jumping. I'm really having fun. This was my first competition after a long break. Today everything worked out great for me and so I'm really happy. I must say that this was the first real win for me in the World Cup. In Sapporo I was 4th after the first round and it's always easier to attack than to defend. This time I had to defend the first rank after the first round and there's special pressure, even though I'm quite experienced. I don't have a lot of expectations for this season. A week ago I was at home and today I'm here, so let's be surprised", said Damjan.
Johann Forfang, who was a member of the winning Norwegian team on Saturday, celebrated the second place today: "Today was a very good day for the Norwegians, although my teammates didn't have great jumps in the final round. I'm really satisfied with my performance today. My first jump was pretty good, despite a bit difficult conditions. My second jump was really good and so I'm happy about the second place", explained Forfang.
Wellinger top - German team very strong
After the second place in Saturday's team event, the Germans showed another great performance today. Lead by Andreas Wellinger in third, also Markus Eisenbichler (5th), Richard Freitag (6th) and Stephan Leyhe (9th) finished in the Top 10. Pius Paschke in 14th and Karl Geiger in 18th completed the top result of the team. "It was a perfect competition, the wind was good for all the athletes. My jumps have improved here constantly and I'm very happy to be on the podium again. On Friday it was very difficult and landing after 99 m is not fun. Yesterday we had a good team competition with the second place and today was also a good day for the German team. We achieved nice results and we are happy about that", Andreas Wellinger said after the competition.
Besides the German team, the Norwegians could also show another convincing performance. Daniel Andre Tande was fourth, Robert Johansson came in seventh.
Stefan Kraft makes a mistake
The big favorite, Stefan Kraft of Austria, already lost his chances on a top result right after the take-off in the first round. "I was too motivated, actually the take-off was perfect, but then I was not loose enough, I wanted too much", said Kraft, who was only 26th after the first half of the competition and moved up to a good 12th place with the best jump of the day in the second round.
Best Japanese was Junshiro Kobayashi in tenth. With this result, Kobayashi defended his lead in the overall World Cup ranking with 126 points.
The World Cup continues next weekend with two individual competitions in Nizhny Tagil (RUS).