Slovenia's Peter Prevc took a clear win in the opening
event of the Summer Grand Prix in Wisla, Poland
and came in ahead of Piotr Zyla and Andreas Wellinger.
With jumps on 129.5 m and 132 m the Slovene was
clearly the best today with a total of 415.2 points
and confirmed the very good performance he showed
in the qualification.
Local hero Piotr Zyla (126 m and 131.5 m; 398.5
points) finished second ahead of the German fan
favorite Andreas Wellinger (130.5 m and 131.5 m;
392.0 points), who lost his chance to win with a
fall in the final round. "I didn't expect to
be on the podium after my fall", he told in
the press conference. But the fact that he fell
exactly on the fall line saved his podium result.
"The judges were also not sure if I fell before
or after the line and so I got style points from
13 to 16."
The German youngster came in only 0.2 points ahead
of Norwegian Andreas Stjernen (391.8 points), who
was the best of his team in fourth.
Divided opinions on the new competition format
The new competition format, in which the 48 best
athletes of the qualification are seeded into four
groups, splits the teams into two camps.
Norwegians Rune Velta (125 m and 127 m; 387 points)
and Tom Hilde (125 m and 129 m; 382.1 points) expressed
positive opinions about the new rules. "I like
the new format, it's great. It's a lot fairer",
Velta said after the competition and his teammate
Hilde agreed. "The system is different, but
interesting. If the spectators like it, than I like
it too! I think it's good, that fewer athletes are
in the final so there's more time for every jumper."
The Norwegian also praised the Polish fans: "There
can be rain and a thunder storm and they still stay
here! I love the Polish people because they create
an incredible atmosphere at the hill. It's great!"
Olympic Champion Simon Ammann was sceptical when
it comes to the new ski jumping format. The Swiss
(127.5 m and 124 m; 374.3 points) sees a problem
in the seeding of the groups: "There's always
a top athlete among the first jumps, this is unusual
and has to stand the test before I can be in favor
of it. I don't have a clear opinion yet because
this system is still a test run for me." But
still Ammann is gives the format a chance for the
future: "There have been a lot of tests during
my career and so I definitely think that new things
have to be tested."
ДIt's like being 2:0 behindУ
The third of the competition, Andreas Wellinger,
is not convinced: "Everyone who had a bad jump
in the qualificaiton is already behind in the overall
ranking. In soccer you would say they are 2:0 behind
and that makes it difficult." Wellinger also
made a suggestion to improve the system: "I
think that it would make more sense if the best
six of each group, will move on to the next round
and then the points of the qualification are added."
It was especially disappointing for the Polish fans
today that Kamil Stoch (114.5 m and 126.5 m; 236.7
points) could not take part in the final round due
to his bad performance in the qualification. The
first weekend of this Summer Grand Prix is now over
and teams and athletes have divided opinions on
the new format.
The next competition will be held in Einsiedeln,
Switzerland on August 8th and 9th.