SUMMER SKI JUMPING. Home victory for Poland! Maciej Kot won his FIS Grand Prix competition. The 21-year-old from Zakopane captured the win in his home country on the new hill in Wisla and will now get to wear the bib of the overall leader of the FIS GP 2012.
Maciej Kot (POL), photo: FISskijumping.com
The organizers of the event in Wisla could be sure that something like the failure of the floodlight on Friday will not happen again. The competition on Friday was held under daylight. The 5 000 fans at the Adam-Malysz-Hill saw a fair competition. Slight tailwind made it a bit difficult for some of the jumpers, but that's why there are wind compensations points.
Ammann and Loitzl - two veterans on the podium
Of course the fans were very happy to see that Kot could defend the lead he had after the first round and won with a total of 252.2 points ahead of Simon Ammann of Switzerland, who reached a total of 245.3 points. And yet another veteran stood on the podium: Austria's Wolfgang Loitzl with his 243.7 points.
"My first jump today was very good, the second one was not that good but it was enough. I didn't think about the result, I just focused on my jumps", the local hero told after his success.
After his first appearance in Wisla, Simon Ammann was especially happy with the audience. "The atmosphere at the hill was great. The fans can get close to the jumpers and that's good." And also for Wolfgang Loitzl it was a good day. "Yesterday we were not satisfied with our fourth place, but today I can say that I'm satisfied. I like the new rules and I hope they will help me on my way to the top."
After the victory in Friday's team competition, Slovene Jurij Tepes closely missed the podium this time: He was only 0.3 points behind Loitzl. Best German was Richard Freitag, who jumps as consistent as last winter, as fifth. Lukas Mueller (AUT), Kamil Stoch (POL), Michael Neumayer, Andreas Wank (both GER) and Yuta Watase (JPN) completed the Top 10 ahead of Italian Sebastian Colloredo (11th). So especially the Germans can be satisfied with placing three jumpers in the Top 10. And also 32-year-old Loitzl will be happy with the fact that he can still keep up with the best.
The Norwegians still have room for improvement. Tom Hilde was their best as 19th. And that although they came to Poland with all their top jumpers, except Anders Jacobsen. Anders Bardal was only 25th and finished, for example, behind Canadian Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes (23rd), who could show a good performance once again this summer.
No disqualifications - despite the new suits
It seems the athlete already adjusted well to the new, tighter suits because there were no disqualifications in Wisla.
Robert Hrgota, who was so strong in the team competition, surprisingly failed to make the cut for the final round. Also Norwegians Bjoern Einar Romoeren and Vegard Haukoe Sklett could not qualify for the second round. Finland's Janne Happonen and Vladimir Zografski of Bulgaria shared the same fate.
Saturday's winner Maciej Kot is of course leading in the overall ranking of the Summer Grand Prix. The next event will take place in Courchevel on August 15th, where a mixed team competition will be held the day before.
Problems with the light, Team Victory for Slovenia
The opening event of the FIS GP 2012 became a victim of darkness. The final round of the team competition in Wisla, that was scheduled to start at 9:35 pm could not take place due to a failure of the floodlight. After a delay of about half an hour the second round was cancelled.
And so the Slovenes, who were in the lead after the first round, were suddenly confirmed as the winners of the competition. It was a well deserved victory. Robert Hrgota and Peter Prevc won their groups with strong jumps. Also Robert Kranjec and Jurij Tepes showed good performances and so they stood on top of the podium. Slovenia also won the ski flying team competition in Oberstdorf in February. The athletes of head coach Goran Janus are in a good shape.
With 479.1 points it was a close win. The second-placed Polish team reached a total of 477.9 points. The hosts are traditionally in a great shape in summer. And in front of their home crowd Piotr Zyla, Kamil Stoch, Dawid Kubacki and Maciej Kot wanted to show their best jumps. Especially Maciej Kot showed a very convincing performance.
Germany close ahead of Austria
The third team on the podium was Germany. Mainly because of Andreas Wank, who seems to have fully recovered from a food poisoning and won his group. Maximilian Mechler, Michael Neumayer and Richard Freitag jumped well and so it was good enough for a podium result.
Austria, competing without Thomas Morgenstern, Gregor Schlierenzauer, Martin Koch and Andreas Kofler, missed the podium. But the "B-Team", with Michael Hayboeck, Lukas Mueller, David Zauner and Wolfgang Loitzl, did a good job and was only 6.1 points behind Germany.
The fifth place on the beautiful Adam-Malysz-Hill in southern Poland went to Japan, ahead of Norway and the Czech Republic. Without Anders Jacobsen, who is currently dominating in the Continental Cup, the Norwegians were not able to achieve a better result. Also overall World Cup winner Anders Bardal did have his best day. The Japanese showed that they alse have a strong team without Daiki Ito and Noriaki Kasai.
Finland came in eighth, and especially Ville Larinto is not in his best shape yet after all his serious injuries. He was tenth of eleven jumpers in his group. But Finland was still five points ahead of Russia.
No floodlights necessary on Saturday
For Russia Ilmir Hazetdinov showed a good performace. Last year Pavel Karelin was on the podium in the individual competition in Wisla, only a few months before he died in a tragic car accident.
France and Kazakhstan did not have a chance to finish in the top eight. The individual competition on the Adam-Malysz-Hill will take place on Saturday at 5:00 pm CET. Then there will be no problems with the floodlight, because there's still enough daylight then.