Poland’s Andrzej Stekala won the first qualification in Willingen on Friday. Stekala posted an amazing jump on 152 m, after his teammate Klemens Muranka had just set a new hill record with 153 m a few minutes earlier.
This would have been great for the 20000 spectators at the hill, but unfortunately, this spectacle had to take place without any fans in the stands, because spectators were not allowed at the Muehlenkopf-hill in Willingen.
The headwind conditions allowed for some amazing jumps in today’s qualification and with his 150 m jump in the first training round, Andrzej Stekala already proved earlier today that he can jump extremely well on the hill in Willingen and that very long jumps are possible in today’s conditions.
With his performance, Andrzej Stekala could take home the check for the qualification winner for the first time in his career. The success of the Pole didn’t come as a coincidence, over the last couple of weeks, the shape of the up-and-comer was getting better and better and the hill in Willingen is a „small flying hill“, this suits Stekala very well.
World Cup leader Halvor Egner Granerud of Norway (139.5 m) and Germany’s Markus Eisenbichler (142 m) came in second and third this afternoon.
Together with the Andrzej Stekala, Klemens Muranka, who set a new hill record of 153 m and finished fifth, Piotr Zyla (6th) and Dawid Kubacki (7th) provided for a strong team result for Poland. Kamil Stoch was 29th.
Jan Hoerl was the best Austrian in eighth, Gregor Deschwanden was the best of the Swiss team on the very good ninth place.
Today’s winner Andrzej Stekala now leads the Willingen/6 ranking with his 135.9 points. The first of two individual competitions of the weekend starts on Saturday at 4 pm CET.
Photos by Nordic photo