It finally starts this weekend: the Ski Jumping World Cup starts. Who are the favorites? Sports show expert Sven Hannawald also looks at the German athletes.
Like a birthday or Christmas, it will be next weekend, far in the north near the Finnish Arctic Circle. At least this is the association that Sportschau ski jumping expert Sven Hannawald has when he thinks about the start of the ski jumping World Cup and the question of the season’s favorites. “I think it’s nice that no one can say that they will. Because then, like before our birthdays or Christmas, we all don’t know what we’re unpacking.”Hannawald is looking forward to the competitions on Saturday (November 25th, 4:15 p.m.) and Sunday (November 26th, 4:15 p.m.) a few days before the start of the season.
Who are the favorites of the new season? Hard to say. Last season’s top 5 Halvor Egner Granerud from Norway, Stefan Kraft from Austria, Anze Lanisek from Slovenia, Dawid Kubacki from Poland and Ryoyu Kobayashi from Japan are certainly among them.
Halvor Egner Granerud: Fall and consistency
Granerud is likely to start the season as the top hunter as the most consistent jumper in recent years. Last winter he not only won the overall World Cup, but also the Four Hills Tournament and came second at the Ski Flying World Championships. But the summer got off to a rocky start; the 27-year-old fell while testing new suits in June. Granreud was lucky and only escaped with bruises. Things got better over the summer. He came fourth at the Grand Prix final in Klingenthal and won the Norwegian championships at the end of October.
Granerud after winning the Four Hills Tournament.
Stefan Kraft is aiming for his 100th World Cup podium
At the Summer Grand Prix, last year’s top athletes only appeared once or twice. Kraft at least won the qualification in Klingenthal. The Austrian, who has always reached the podium in the last five individual competitions in Ruka, is aiming for a special mark this season. Kraft has been on the podium 98 times so far and could crack the 100 podium finishes.
Andreas Wellinger “has learned to focus”
And the Germans? Andreas Welllinger and Karl Geiger probably have the best chances for top places. Wellinger celebrated two World Cup victories last season, came fourth at the German championships at the beginning of November (with a strong 140.5 meters in the second round) and became champion in the team. “He learned to focus and think in small steps”praises Hannnawald. “He’s sticking with it, he’s building on what he presented to us last season. And he’s gone one step further. He’s taking small steps forward.”praises the 49-year-old.
Karl Geiger “is still the worker”
Last season, Geiger jumped onto the World Cup podium four times in individual competitions and became world champion in the mixed team. At the summer competitions in Klingenthal he came twelfth in the Grand Prix, and at the German championships he came fifth individually and was team champion. With 141 meters in the team competition, the Oberstdorfer achieved the greatest distance of the entire DM weekend. “Karl is still the worker”says Hannnawald. “For his height and the extreme angles he has with his long legs, it takes one or two jumps to groove into his system.”explains Hannawald. “For him, it’s about keeping at it.”
Geiger: “Trying to break down the system”
Geiger joined later in the summer, “because we tried to break the system”he explains at the sports show microphone. “We looked for faults and tried out a few things. Both in terms of jumping and in the coordination of the materials. It was important that I gave myself the time to test things gradually without the pressure of competition.” That seems to have been worth it. Shortly before the season he said: “My gut feeling is very positive.”
Hamann and Raimund – “They smell a fuse”
The Auer Martin Hamann and Philipp Raimund from Oberstdorf received praise from the Four Hills Tournament winner and 2002 Olympic champion. The two jumped into the World Cup team with the championship title and DM bronze. “That’s the young guard, they smell a match right now”explains Hamann. “They are bold, they sometimes go beyond the mark. Hamann and Raimund in particular are the two who bring in fresh fire and irritate the established ones.”
Eisenbichler misses qualification – “Not so negative”
One of the seemingly established players isn’t even there at the start of the season. Markus Eisenbichler didn’t get along at all in tenth place at the German Championships and was initially left out of the World Cup squad. “The German championships were on a hill where he had a bad fall. He’s no longer 20, but has a certain age. You can’t put certain things aside so easily anymore.”, Hannawald explains the Eisenbichler exit. According to Hannawald, the Siegsdorfer had a few during training in Oberstdorf “Showed great jumps. But not at such a stable level.” And that would have been the six-time world champion’s downfall in Klingenthal.
Markus Eisenbichler will miss the first two World Cups
Eisenbichler would now start in the second-class Continental Cup “The opportunity to start the season more calmly from the second row. I don’t think it’s that negative”Hannawald looks ahead.
Zografski, Deschwanden or Nikaido?
The top three from the Summer Grand Prix will be there at the start of the World Cup. The Bulgarian Vladimir Zografski won the jump series ahead of the Swiss Gregor Deschwanden and the 22-year-old Ren Nikaido from Japan. Can Zografski and Co. also convince in the World Cup? The trio is unlikely to be one of the contenders for victory. They collected the points for the Summer Grand Prix podium because, unlike most top athletes, they were there at all stages. Zografski in particular should take a lot of self-confidence into the World Cup with the overall victory. So far he has jumped into the top 10 three times – perhaps there will be a few more placements in the top ten next winter.