Anders Bardal and Tom Hilde secured a double victory
for the team of Norway in Nizhniy Tagil. Veteran
Jakub Janda of the Czech Republic was third and
achieved his first podium result in a Grand Prix
or World Cup in about seven years.
Bardal, overall World Cup winner 2012, and Hilde
fought for the win neck-and-neck. After the first
round Bardal was second, but in the final he then
jumped a meter longer than his teammate with 96.5
m and came in with a lead of 0.6 points. Janda showed
the longest jump of the day with 99 m, and finished
1.3 points behind.
Anders Bardal: "I didn't expect such a good
result at all. But I had the feeling that my jumping
is getting better and better so I was hoping for
some good results. We recently had training camps
in Austria and Norway and we were jumping on ice
tracks in Drammen. It's always nice to win and I
like this type of hills. They are similar to the
ones in Sochi and that's also why I'm here.У
Tom Hilde was also surprised by the outcome of the
competition: "I'm really surprised about this
result. I didn't expect such a good result, but
I felt already yesterday that this hill is good.
It feels a bit bigger than other K90. I had one
good jump yesterday, so I knew I could do it and
it went well today. This hill is a bit smaller than
the one in Sochi, but the inrun feels the same.
It's nice to jump well on a hill that's similar
to Sochi. I didn't do well in Sochi last year, now
I know I can do better there."
Jakub Janda: "I already wanted to compete in
the Grand Prix in Hakuba, but at the COC in Kuopio
I injured my knee in a long jump and I couldn't
train for a few weeks. After this break it went
really well again and it will be okay for the winter.
I changed my training a bit and do more physical
training again and a bit more of everything, because
this is my last season. I don't know yet what to
expect on the big hill tomorrow."
Stefan Hula was the best of the Polish team as fourth,
Jan Ziobro as sixth, Krzysztof Biegun as eighth
and Aleksander Zniszczol as 15th completed the once
again strong result of the young Polish team.
Jernej Damjan finished seventh and achieved a top
result for Slovenia. In absence of Simon Ammann,
Pascal Kaelin was the best Swiss as ninth. The best
Russian, Ilmir Hazetdinov, came in behind Japanese
Reruhi Shimizu (10th) and closely missed the Top
10 as eleventh.
The small German team could not fight for the win
today. Jan Maylaender was their best as 13th, a
good result for him in his first appearance in the
Grand Prix. Despite the absence of many top jumpers,
veteran Martin Schmitt could not qualify for the
final round as 31st.
Also Davide Bresadola (ITA, 16th), Matjaz Pungertar
(SLO, 18th) and the young Norwegians Rune Velta
and Anders Fannemel as 20th and 21st could not seize
the opportunity and achieve top results. With Nicholas
Alexander as 14th, half of the US team could score
Krzysztof Biegun now got closer to Andreas Wellinger
in the Grand Prix overall ranking, but he is still
110 points behind. There are only jumpers of Germany
and Poland in the Top 6.
The second competition in Nizhniy Tagil is held
on Sunday, before the circuit moves on to Almaty.