Stefan Kraft of Austria won a great World Cup competition in Trondheim (NOR) on Thursday evening. Under perfect weather conditions, Kraft had jumps of 138 m and 142.5 m (302.0 points) and finished ahead of Norway's Andreas Stjernen (138.5 m and 138 m; 294.3 points) and Andreas Wellinger of Germany. This was the tenth World Cup win for Stefan Kraft, the sixth this season. With this success the 24-year-old extended his lead in the overall World Cup and took back the lead in the Raw Air Tournament.
"Today I wanted to make up for the bad result yesterday so I risked everything, already in the trial round. Which is something I normally don't do. Everything went well for me today, It was a great competition. The conditions were fantastic, it was very fair and a lot of fun. Hopefully the conditions will be the same in Vikersund. We will see great flights there and I hope I can fly over the hill size a couple of times", Stefan Kraft said after the competition.
With Norway's Andreas Stjernen, a second top ski flyer could get himself in a good position before the upcoming competitions in Vikersund. Stjernen equalled his best World Cup result today, achieved in a Ski Flying event in Oberstdorf 2013: "I'm really happy. It's great to show two good jumps in a competition, especially here on my home hill. It's always difficult to be on the podium, but the level today was extremely high. Finally we had a nice competition during this Raw Air with stable conditions. It was an amazing competition. I haven't thought about Vikersund that much, but the heart is starting to beat faster now. I think it will be fun and hopefully the weather will be as good there as it was here today."
Andreas Wellinger also proved his currently great shape. The third place today was his ninth podium finish in the last 10 competitions. "I'm very satisfied, especially with the second jump. It's not easy here on this hill to a perfect take-off, I couldn't do it that well in the first round. It's extremely cool that I could jump that far in the second round and that I made it to the podium. I hope we will have some nice flights in Vikersund. Everything can change really fast, as we saw here yesterday and today. Hopefully Stefan and I will continue to jump on such a high level. Then it will be very exciting", said Wellinger.
Only 0.9 points behind Wellinger, Markus Eisenbichler came in fourth and was angry about his lost chance to achieve even more: "I'm not totally satisfied with this competition, I can't be satisfied with such landings because I lose imporant points and so I can't be on the podium. I'm very satisfied with the jumps, but the landings are part of the result too."
Poland's Kamil Stoch confirmed yesterday's win with a strong fifth place, followed by Norway's Johann Andre Forfang. Peter Prevc and Richard Freitag, seventh and eighth today, are definitely among the favorites for the Ski Flying competitions in Vikersund on the next three days. Roman Koudelka and Daniel Andre Tande completed the Top 10.
The fight for the overall title of the RAW AIR remains extremely interesting. Stefan Kraft now leads with 1237.1 points ahead of Andreas Wellinger (1231.8 points), Markus Eisenbichler (1206.2 points) and Andreas Stjernen (1200.8 points). Nothing is decided yet with 6 jumps left on the three days in Vikersund.
The first event in Vikersund will already take place on Friday at 4:15 pm CET with all competitors, there will be no qualification and only one competition round.
Stefan Kraft is also in the lead in the overall World Cup with 1420 points. He is followed by Kamil Stoch (1334 points) and Daniel Andre Tande of Norway (1181 points). Andreas Wellinger is fourth with 988 points