Dawid Kubacki won the third competition of the 71st Four-Hills-Tournament in Innsbruck on Wednesday. Second place went to Halvor Egner Granerud on the Bergisel hill in Innsbruck, who maintained his lead in the Four Hills Tournament. Before the final, the Norwegian has a lead of more than 20 points over Kubacki.
After two years Bergisel was back in the Four Hills Tournament. Last year, the competition had been cancelled due to a foehn storm and moved to Bischofshofen.
Kubacki already took the clear lead with his very strong first jump to 127 metres. The World Cup leader had started one gate lower than the competition and extended his lead clearly ahead of second-placed Anze Lanisek (127 metres). Halvor Egner Granerud, who had not coped well with the Bergisel in Tuesday’s qualification and started in the middle of the run, was sixth, 12.8 points behind Kubacki.
Granerud, the winner of the competitions in Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, then showed a great jump in the final round. With 133.3 metres he took the lead and stayed in the lead until Kubacki’s jump. The Pole landed at 121.5 metres and finally won with 3.5 points ahead of the star from Norway. Anze Lanisek finished third.
“Those were great jumps. Of course the second run should have been better because I know I made some mistakes. I am in first place and that is really nice. We will continue to work on that until the next competition,” Kubacki said.
“Of course it was exciting. The second jump was really good, with very good conditions and a lot of speed. I am very happy that I was able to set the telemark. I was a bit lucky, so it was actually surprisingly exciting to see the last jumps. I’m just happy that I didn’t get beaten by 12 or 15 points,” Granerud explained.
Granerud was thus able to maintain his lead of more than 20 points in the Four Hills Tournament and has the best chances to secure the Golden Eagle in Bischofshofen on Friday. Lanisek is in third place in the overall Toiurnee ranking ahead of Piotr Zyla (POL).
“I can be satisfied. My jumps were very good. It was difficult in the second round with a tailwind, but I still have to be satisfied,” said Lanisek.
For Kubacki it was the fifth victory this season. The Pole remains the leader in the overall World Cup with 870 points. Anze Lanisek (742) is second and Halvor Egner Granerud (696) third.
Despite missing out on the podium, it was a good competition for the Austrian team, who put in a strong performance in front of their home crowd. Stefan Kraft (4th), Michal Hayboeck (7th), Daniel Tschofenig (8th) and Jan Hoerl (9th) finished in the top 10.
The head coach of the Polish national team, Thomas Thurnbichler, who comes from Innsbruck, could also be satisfied. Kamil Stoch achieved his best result this winter with fifth place, Piotr Zyla was 10th.
The German team jumps behind. The bright spot in the team of head coach Stefan Horngacher was Philipp Raimund, who reached the best placement of his career with 13th. Andreas Wellinger jumped very well in Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, but only finished 18th on Wednesday, Markus Eisenbichler, Constantin Schmid and Pius Paschke came in 22nd, 26th and 28th.
The 22-year-old Estonian Kevin Maltsev celebrated his first World Cup points on Wednesday. His team mate Artti Aigro also made it to the final round. The Estonians did better than the Japanese team, as only Naoki Nakamura scored World Cup points. Ryoyu Kobayashi, the two-time winner of the Four Hills Tournament, finished 32nd.
The final of the 71st Four Hills Tournament will be held in Bischofshofen on Friday. The official training and qualification will take place on Thursday.