In the qualification for the first Ski Flying World Cup event of the season in Bad Mitterndorf (AUT) the Norwegians could once again prove their excellent Ski Flying skills.
Daniel Andre Tande showed a jump of 216.5 m on the Kulm-hill and was the best in the qualification on Friday afternoon with 187.4 points. With 215.5 m and 185.5 points, his fellow countryman Andreas Stjernen provided the double victory for the strong Norwegian team. Robert Johansson in fifth and Johann Andre Forfang in eighth, two more Norwegian jumpers could achieve top result.
The third place went to Slovenia's Jernej Damjan with 216.5 m and 185.1 points. In a, for a Ski Flying competition, extremely close round, local hero Stefan Kraft of Austria came in fourth, only 0.1 points behind the third. Michael Hayboeck proved his upward trend from Bischofshofen also in Bad Mitterndorf and finished sixth.
Simon Ammann also did really well on the first Ski Flying day of the winter. The Swiss had a very good start to the weekend with a seventh place. Best athlete of the German Ski Association was Markus Eisenbichler in ninth. His teammates would have to improve their performances in the competition in order to follow up on the recent strong results. Andreas Wellinger was only 22nd today.
Not only the Norwegians, also the Slovenes are considered to be Ski Flying specialists and this also showed in today's result. Besides third-placed Jernej Damjan, Anze Semenic (10th), Tilen Bartol (11th), Peter Prevc (12th), Domen Prevc (15th) and Ziga Jelar (17th) showed convincing performances as well.
Russia's Dimitry Vassiliev fell after the landing of a 225.5 m jump in the first training round, but he was able to take part in the qualification and came in 24th. Veteran Noriaki Kasai of Japan also had no problems to qualify for the competition in 26th.
Kevin Bickner was 30th and the only US American to qualify for the Saturday's event, Janne Ahonen of Finnland, who was competing again for the first time since the World Cup in Titisee-Neustadt (GER) early December, was the last one to make the cut in 40th.
Vincent Descombes Sevoie of France and Germany's Karl Geiger are among those, who could not qualify and have to wait for another chance on Sunday.
The first competition in Bad Mitterndorf starts on Saturday at 2:15 pm CET (trial round: 1 pm CET).