After almost six years, Andreas Wellinger from Germany has won a ski jumping World Cup again. The Bavarian won the first competition in Lake Placid (USA) after 33 years ahead of Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi and Austria’s Daniel Tschofenig.
It was Wellinger’s fourth World Cup victory overall.
Glorious weather for the ski jumpers on their return to the place where the Olympic Games have already been held twice (1932 and 1980). Bright sunshine attracted more than 10,000 spectators to the HS 128-metre hill in Lake Placid and the athletes put on a great show despite difficult conditions. In the end, Andreas Wellinger was able to celebrate his first victory since December 2017 (Nizhny Tagil). Wellinger still managed to jump from 5th place in the first round to the victory in the overall ranking with a very strong final jump. Even the Japanese Royal Kobayashi, who was clearly in the lead after the first round, was not able to overtake Wellinger. 264.5 points for Wellinger (129 and 125.5 metres), 256 for second-placed Kobayashi and only 0.6 points (255.4) behind Austrian Daniel Tschofenig.
“What can I say, really unbelievable what happened today. I have to realise it first, I already knew that I am in good shape again, but that it works out with a victory directly after such a long time is awesome. I’m really happy and I’m going to keep working and I’m also looking forward to the super team competition tonight,” said Wellinger, who will form the German team together with his buddy Karl Geiger, who celebrates his 30th birthday today in Lake Placid.
“I’m really happy for Andi. He has had a long time of suffering with the cruciate ligament rupture. Here in Lake Placid he presented himself very strongly from the beginning, with this form he is on the best way, also to the World Championships in Planica. Especially the small hill in Planica suits Andi very well”, head coach Stefan Horngacher was happy about the success of his athlete.
First podium for Daniel Tschofenig.
For the 21-year-old Austrian Daniel Tschofeniog, third place meant the first World Cup podium of his career: “I was sure that it wouldn’t be enough for the podium, now I’m super happy that it was. The hill here in Lake Placid has an old profile, you don’t really see that any more. It’s a very flat flight curve and you have to make it well over the noll, then it fits. I did that well today, now I’m looking forward to the super team competition tonight.
Timi Zajc (SLO), Dawid Kubacki, Domen Prevc and World Cup leader Halvor Egner Granerud completed the ranks 4-7. Karl Geiger gave himself a nice birthday present with rank 8.
Japan’s Taku Takeuchi was happy about his first World Cup points after his return in 29th place.
Already in the evening (23:00 CET) the ski jumpers will continue in Lake Placid with a Super Team (2 athletes per team, three rounds) event.
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