Ski flying in Oberstdorf: Zajc wins ahead of Prevc – Wellinger comes sixth

As of: February 24, 2024 6:28 p.m

The Slovenian Timi Zajc has once again demonstrated his ski flying qualities and won the first of two individual competitions in Oberstdorf on Saturday (February 24th, 2024). Andreas Wellinger was once again the best German, while Karl Geiger had a day to forget.

The Slovenian ski jumpers continue to dominate in Oberstdorf: Large hill world champion Zajc, who had already won in the super team the day before, this time relegated his compatriot Peter Prevc to second place in a close competition with jumps of 230 meters each. For Zajc it was the fourth World Cup victory of his career. He took all four to ski flying hills.

Prevc, who was still leading after the first round and will end his career at the end of the season, ended up 4.2 points short of his 24th World Cup victory. Ski flying world champion Stefan Kraft also had a good day and came third (-9 points). The Austrian is thus extending his lead in the overall World Cup.

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Wellinger with a strong second jump

As so often this season, Andreas Wellinger became the best German with flights of 219.5 and 223 meters, but he was unable to compete for the podium or even the day’s victory. In the end, the World Cup runner-up from Ruhpolding was 23.1 points short of Zajc at the top; the equivalent of just five meters to the podium. But especially his second attempt, thanks to which Wellinger was able to move from eighth to sixth place, gives hope for the second competition on Sunday.

I’m not entirely satisfied yet“Wellinger said somewhat self-critically at the sports show microphone. “But I’m particularly happy with the second round.“National coach Stefan Horngacher also saw it that way:”The final jump gives us hope. He’ll do even better tomorrow.

Slovenes dominate in Oberstdorf

The Slovenians showed in the first round in relatively constant wind conditions what distances are possible on the impressive Heini-Klopfer ski flying hill in front of 16,000 fans. However, it was not the super team winners Zajc and Domen Prevc who showed the best jump, but Peter Prevc. With 230.5 meters, the 31-year-old ski flying world champion from 2016 took the lead over Zajc. Kraft, who won the qualification, moved into third place at half-time ahead of Domen Prevc. A look at the points showed how close the competition was: only 4.5 points separated the top four before the final.

At this point, Wellinger, in eighth place, was already 16 points short of the lead. The day before he had proven how far he could carry himself in Oberstdorf with two good flights in the super team. This time too, the approach speed was right, but its 219.5 meters wasn’t enough for a position at the front. In the final, Wellinger was able to increase his distance to 223 meters and move up two places thanks to decent marks, but the burden from the first round was too great to attack the podium.

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Raimund: “I will remember the day”

The second best German was Philipp Raimund, who had already broken the hoped-for 200-meter mark in qualifying. When it mattered most, he even went one better and clenched his fists after 213.5 meters in the first round. “I will definitely remember the day. I jumped with confidence” said Raimund, who had previously drawn strength from a personal conversation with national coach Horngacher.

The screams of joy and clenched fists continued after the second attempt. With 220 meters and a personal distance record, the 23-year-old hope improved to 14th place in the DSV team.

Paschke and Leyhe without accents

In addition to Wellinger, Pius Paschke started in the super team on Friday. But things didn’t really work out for the veteran, who had jumped from surprise to surprise at the start of the season. 208 meters meant 22nd place after the first attempt. Afterwards he went five meters further, but he couldn’t really improve.

Stephan Leyhe, who had barely slipped into the competition in 40th place, showed improvement afterwards, but after two jumps on 205 meters and 23rd place in the final, the Willinger’s mood could have been much better.

Hoffmann has “incredible fun” flying

Felix Hoffmann, on the other hand, once again showed why he can be a promise for the future of German ski jumping. After he was already part of the World Cup team in Willingen, Lake Placid and Sapporo, he also confirmed his form in ski flying and made it into the second round with 194 meters. “I really enjoy flying“, beamed the 26-year-old before the final. Although he couldn’t quite match his performance there (190.5 meters), he still rewarded himself with his next World Cup points in 27th place.

Luca Roth, who took part in the national group, missed the jump into the top 30 with 189.5 meters. Nevertheless, he was able to take positive things from the competition and was happy about the “good mental challenge“that ski flying brings with it.”A great feeling. Of course you would like to break the 200 meter mark. But I still have a few competitions ahead of me in my career.

Geiger experiences qualification debacle

And Karl Geiger? He had a bad day at his home World Cup, of all places. The 31-year-old had announced in advance that the flying hill in Oberstdorf would finally be there “crack“To want to. However, that failed completely. After a weak 161.5 meters, the five-time world champion had to give up in 44th place in the qualification. For comparison: teammate Wellinger jumped a full 64.5 meters further in the qualification.”Sometimes ski jumping can leave you at a loss, but we will find a recipe again“, said Horngacher about the performance of his former model jumper.

Karl Geiger was eliminated in qualifying.

For Geiger it was the next setback in a World Cup season that now has more downs than ups. Since his seventh place on the normal hill in Oberstdorf at the Four Hills Tournament at the end of December, the two-time season winner has not made it into the top ten in an individual competition. In addition to Geiger, Finn Braun (178 meters) and Martin Hamann (141) from the national group also missed out on making it into the top 40 who qualified for the first round.