Matjaz Pungertar and Jernej Damjan took a double
win for Slovenia at the FIS Grand Prix in Almaty.
The third place was captured by Japanese Reruhi
Shimizu, for whom this was the third podium result
of his career.
The competition had to be postponed for a couple
of hours due to the strong wind, but at the end
the patience of jury and athletes paid off.
Pungertar (133 m and 136 m) and Damjan (131 m and
136 m) showed four strong jumps, the Youngster earned
his 1.7 points with the better judges' marks. Pungertar
won with a total of 272.2 points. Shimizu reached
a total of 268.8 points with his jumps on 132.5
m and 133 m.
Matjaz Pungertar, who had a streak with a bit weaker
performances since his third place in the Grand
Prix opener in Hinterzarten, was happy about his
first ever Grand Prix win: "The competition
lasted a long time and it was hard for us to stay
concentrated. In the end the result was perfect
for me, I'm totally happy. It seems that Almaty
is a really good place for the Slovenian team, last
year they also did very well here."
With today's result, Jernej Damjan took the lead
in the overall ranking of the FIS Grand Prix with
419 points: "It was a long day, but now I'm
happy about my second place. I was thinking about
taking the yellow leader's bib all the time before
today's competition. Now it's great that I'm the
leader in the Grand Prix."
Reruhi Shimizu also has a chance to finish on the
podium of the overall ranking with good performances
in the remaining competitions in Hinzenbach and
Klingenthal: "It took a really long time today
and it was very difficult to stay concentrated but
fortunately I was able to jump well. I'm absolutely
satisfied with the third place today."
Maximlian Mechler was disappointed when he left
the hill this afternoon. With a strong jump on 133
m the German was in the lead after the first round.
122.5 m in the final were clearly not good enough
and he came in only 15th. Anders Bardal, the winner
of Saturday's competition, finished fourth, 0.5
points behind Shimizu. With 131 m and 132 m the
winner of two Grand Prix competitions this summer
was one place better than the best Czech Cestmir
Kozisek (129 m / 128.5 m; 261.5 points).
Olli Muotka achieved a good result for Finland again
as sixth, Anssi Koivuranta can also be satisfied
with his 13th place. Yuta Watase achieved his by
far best result of the summer as seventh. The Russian
team improved their performance, Ilmir Hazetdinov
and Dimitry Vassiliev came in 11th and 12th.
Mechler was followed by his teammate Martin Schmitt,
who was 16th. The Swiss team was represented by
three athletes in the final round, even without
Simon Ammann: Pascal Kaelin, Gregor Deschwanden
and Marco Grigoli were 20th, 22nd and 27th. The
Kazakh jumpers could also not qualify for the final
round in the second competition on their home turf.
The FIS Grand Prix concludes with two individual
competitions in Hinzenbach and Klingenthal. Even
Tom Hilde, currently ninth in the Grand Prix ranking,
still has a mathematical chance to win the overall