World Champion Kamil Stoch won the first ski jumping World Cup competition in Willingen. With jumps on 139.5 m and 145.5 m the Pole scored a total of 263.2 points and took his third win this season. Local hero Severin Freund gave the 15 000 spectators reason to celebrate with his second place, only one point behind the winner. Freund jumped on 139 m and 147.5 m.
For the third time in a row, Jernej Damjan could achieve a podium result. The winner of the competition in Sapporo scored 258.5 points with 141.5 m and 150.0 m. 41-year-old Japanese Noriaki Kasai jumped on 142 m and 140 m and missed the podium by only 4.6 points.
Robert Kranjec, Jurij Tepes and Peter Prevc came in fifth, sixth and seventh and completed an outstanding team result for Slovenia. While Kranjec scored 253.5 points with 140.5 m and 150 m, Tepes even equaled the hill record with 152 m in the first round and was in the lead at half time. In the final he then jumped 15 m shorter and was 4.5 points behind Kranjec. With 247.2 points and 138 m and 145.5 m, Peter Prevc defended the yellow bib of the World Cup leader in seventh. Andreas Wellinger was eighth with 245.8 points in the second to last competition before the Olympic Games. Daiki Ito (241.7 points) and 4-Hills-Tournament winner Thomas Diethart (238.8 points) completed the Top 10. After his two eighth places in Sapporo, Markus Eisenbichler achieved yet another very good World Cup result in eleventh. His teammates Marinus Kraus, Michael Neumayer and Richard Freitag gave the German team reason for optimism before the Olympics in 12th, 14th and 16th.
Norwegian Olympic team not in Willingen
In absence of Gregor Schlierenzauer and Thomas Morgenstern, Michael Hayboeck (13th) and Stefan Kraft (15th) achieved good results for Austria, Finland's Anssi Koivuranta came in on a good 17th place. Jan Matura was 18th and the only Czech who could score points. Ole Marius Ingvaldsen was the best Norwegian in 19th, the Olympic team of the Scandinavians is not competing in Willingen. Maciej Kot, Jan Ziobro and Piotr Zyla came in on the places 20 to 22 and still have some room for improvement. Alexej Romashov scored his first World Cup points in 2014 in 26th.
Ammann misses final
Andreas Kofler, who qualified for the Austrian Olympic team in the last minute, was only 27th, Janne Ahonen scored at least one World Cup point in 30th after his break due to health problems. Simon Ammann surprisingly failed to make the cut for the final round in 33rd.
The second individual competition in Willingen will take place on Sunday at 2:30 pm CET.
"My jumps were perfect today, otherwise I would not have won this competition. The level was very high today. My goal for tomorrow is to do my best again. I want to enjoy ski jumping and make my family, my team and the Polish fans happy."
Severin Freund (GER):
"It's always a lot of fun to jump here. After the 4-Hills-Tournament was not easy for me, it was a very good day today. It was obvious today that you also need some luck. It's a very good result for me that gives me self-confidence before the trip to Russia. But it's more important for me that I was able to implement what I wanted today."
Jernej Damjan (SLO):
"It's definitely a perfect day. I want to thank our physiotherapist because I had some back problems after Sapporo and it was already hard yesterday. It seems like everything is going right, but I look from day to day."