Austria's Stefan Kraft won the first qualification for the Ski Jumping World Cup in Engelberg. With his jump of 134.5 m, Kraft scored 144.5 points and came in ahead of the two Germans Richard Freitag (132 m; 140.7 points) and Markus Eisenbichler (128 m; 139.9 points).
After his outstanding jump today, Stefan Kraft is now one of the top favorites in this weekend's competitions, next to overall World Cup leader Richard Freitag.
More than 20 cm of fresh snow overnight, had turned Engelberg into a winter wonderland. In wintery temperatures, the fans saw a good qualification, in which Poland's Dawid Kubacki and Maciej Kot showed convincing performances and finished right behind the Top 3 in fourth and fifth.
Best Norwegian was not Daniel Andre Tande this time, but Halvor Egner Granerud in sixth, followed by Gregor Schilerenzauer, who had a strong jump in the qualification and gained lots of self-confidence for the weekend.
Domen Prevc made his comeback on the Slovenian World Cup team after a long break. The 18-year-old had a good jump and was 22nd. With Anze Semenic (8th) and Peter Prevc (10th) two more athletes of head coach Goran Janus finished in the Top 10 today.
French youngster Jonathan Learoyd also showed a good performance. The 17-year-old from Courchevel, who was second in the COC in Canada last weekend, jumped well also in Engelberg, came in 32nd and earned his place in Saturday's competition. Surprisingly his teammate Vincent Descombes Sevoie failed to make the cut in 56th.
Young German Constantin Schmid, who achieved a Top 10 result last weekend in Titisee-Neustadt, was 50th and the last athlete to qualify for the competition, so all German athletes will be competing on Saturday.
The competition on Saturday starts at 4 pm CET.