The German ski jumpers also achieved a podium finish in the second mixed team competition this winter. At the home World Cup in Willingen, the DSV team finished third on Friday (02/03/2023). The Slovenian Timi Zajc caused a moment of shock with a crazy jump to an insane 161.5 meters.
The conditions in Willingen were anything but easy. In addition to strong winds, rain also worried the organizers. Again and again the jury had to interrupt the competition. The first round with eight teams lasted almost 90 minutes. Ultimately, the decision was made to skip the second round.
Germany behind Norway and Austria
The DSV quartet around Selina Freitag, Karl Geiger, Katharina Althaus and Andreas Wellinger were not discouraged by the adverse conditions. Third place jumped out with 409.8 points. Germany had already taken third place in Titisee-Neustadt in December.
Victory on the Mühlenkopfschanze, at 145 meters the world’s largest ski jump, went to the Norwegian quartet Anna Odine Ström, Marius Lindvik, Silje Opseth and Halvor Egner Granerud (450.6 points). Austria with Chiara Kreuzer, Jan Hörl, Eva Pinkelnig and Stefan Kraft came in second (415.1).
Zajc with “one of the wildest jumps”
The excitement of the day was provided by Timi Zajc, who jumped 161.5 (!) meters in a great upwind with an amazing jump – eight and a half meters further than the hill record. The Slovenian was rocked back and forth wildly in the air, he couldn’t control the landing at such a distance and fell.
But Zajc was able to prevent worse. He held his leg, but was able to get up shortly afterwards. “That was one of the wildest jumps I’ve ever seen. It is extremely difficult and unpredictable. I hope he’s fine“Wellinger said after the moment of shock.
Hannawald: “Others tear their knees away”
ARD expert Sven Hannawald was also amazed and praised the 22-year-old’s landing: “It’s amazing. Only a few can do that, everyone else tears their knees away and ends up in the hospital. When I see jumps like that, I get goosebumps.”
Friday brings the DSV team into position
Freitag was the first jumper for the German team. The adverse conditions also affected her jump – the jury went straight down two hatches. After the jump, the Saxon had trouble keeping her balance. But she remained stable and touched down after 132 meters – equivalent to fourth place.
A year ago, Freitag had a bad fall in Willingen in similarly difficult conditions. This is one of the reasons why she was satisfied with her performance in the Sportschau interview afterwards. “It was very difficult as I had to wait. Then the run-up was shortened. But I was able to put us in the right position afterwards.” National coach Maximilian Mechler was of the same opinion. “tip top“, so his conclusion. “A good jump, she pulled it off well. I am happy.“
Violinist with a successful comeback
It was the first competition for the recently out-of-form violinist after he had skipped ski flying at the Kulm. The man from Oberstdorf had trained individually with national coach Stefan Horngacher in his home country – and that seemed to have paid off. With 140 meters and good grades, Geiger brought his team to third place on the podium. The gap to the leading Norwegians (+6 points) and Austria (+3.8) was not too big. There was no danger from behind either, as Japan was already a good 18 points behind.
“I was surprised that I was allowed to start“Said Geiger afterwards. He too struggled with the external conditions.”It’s damn difficult to jump, very changeable. But I put in a really good performance. I can help the team with that.” National coach Horngacher added: “He gets the trust – and Karl confirmed that. He showed a good jump, I’m happy with that.“
Althaus took second place – Granerud and Kraft countered Wellinger
Althaus had already shone with strong jumps in training and in the prologue. When the conditions in the competition were actually good, however, she lacked the timing at the take-off table. But she was able to iron out her “blunder” in flight and thanks to a technically clean landing and landed after 122.5 meters. Since the leader in the overall World Cup, Eva Pinkelnig, only jumped 115 meters in the snow, Germany moved up to second place, 14.7 points behind Norway.
Katharina Althaus in the first round of the mixed jumping in Willingen
The podium was already as good as certain for the DSV team. Wellinger left no doubts about that. The man from Traunstein used the conditions that were favorable for him and confirmed his recent strong form with a leap to 135.5 meters. But it shouldn’t be enough for more. Granerud (145.5 meters) brought the ultimately sovereign victory for Norway. Kraft from Austria (148.5) pushed the DSV team from second place.
Nevertheless, Horngacher was satisfied. “The girls and especially Andreas Wellinger jump very well. Of course, our goal was to get on the podium here“, was the conclusion of the national coach.