It is the big surprise of this WSC so far: The German Ski Jumping mixed team won the gold medal in an outstanding competition in Oberstdorf. Katharina Althaus, Markus Eisenbichler, Anna Rupprecht, and Karl Geiger came in ahead of Norway and Austria.
Nobody expected this outcome today. Germany was the defending champion, but after how this winter went for them so far they could maybe hope for a medal, but it seemed that gold would be impossible considering the strong competition. During the course of today’s event, it became obvious pretty soon that the German athletes had a great day and every member of the team showed their best performance. Everyone was performing at an equally high level and that’s what made the difference and earned them a lead of 5.2 points over Norway and 14.3 points over Austria.
“I’m extremely grateful to the entire team and everyone who was working with us to make today’s success possible. I really didn’t expect that we would win here today”, said an overwhelmed Markus Eisenbichler, who was, like Karl Geiger and Katharina Althaus, also part of the winning mixed team in Seefeld two years ago.
The second place went to the strong Norwegian team (Silje Opseth, Robert Johansson, Maren Lundby, and Halvor Egner Granerud), for which Halvor Egner Granerud surprisingly lost a few points compared to Karl Geiger in the first round and could not earn the expected lead for his team. “I’m happy about another silver medal. We were so close to the winners, so it is also a little bittersweet. We had a good competition, now we are looking forward to the large hill”, said Maren Lundby.
Marita Kramer could once again prove her outstanding shape for Austria today. Kramer achieved the best result among the women, ahead of Katharina Althaus. “We really wanted to win a medal today, and that’s what we did. In the first jump, I lost a lot of points at the landing, in the second round it was quite okay”, Kramer explained in an interview on Austrian TV.
Slovenia came in fourth this evening. For the Slovenes, who were considered the top favorite, it was World Champion Ema Klinec who was not in her best shape today and so it because clear early on, that they would not be able to add another title to the collection.
Japan finished fifth, they lost their chance of winning a medal already after Yuki Ito’s first jump. The 5-time World Cup winner landed already after 75 m and so they war too far behind the top teams and couldn’t close this gap.
Poland, with Anna Twardosz, Piotr Zyla, Kamila Karpiel, and Dawid Kubacki, had a strong competition and finished sixth. This is a very good result for the team of the head coaches Lukas Kruczek and Michal Dolezal. The Russian Ski Federation was seventh, the Czech Republic eighth.
The World Championships now continue with the competitions on the large hill. First, it’s the women’s turn on Tuesday (qualification) and Wednesday (competition), the men’s individual and team competitions then follow on Friday and Saturday.