The Austrian ski jumpers won the team competition on Saturday in Zakopane (POL). In an exciting competition, Daniel Huber, Philipp Aschenwald, Michael Hayboeck, and Jan Hoerl scored a total of 991.2 points and came in ahead of the team of Poland (982.3 points). The third place went to Norway with 974.8 points.
Snowfall and changing winds provided for difficult conditions and an extremely exciting competition on the Wielka Krokiew hill in Zakopane. The Polish team had looked like the clear winner, but newcomer Andrzej Stekala landed already at 115 m in the second round, his direct opponent Philipp Aschenwald jumped 18 m farther in the third group and took the lead for Austria. In the end, Austria had a lead of 8.9 points over Poland.
Michael Hayboeck was the first jumper for his Austrian team and had a great jump of 140.5 m, but soon the Polish team took the lead. „This win feels extremely good, we were the underdogs in this competition but we pushed each other today and that’s what made the difference. Of course, we were also a bit lucky that Andrzej Stekala had a bad second jump“, Hayboeck said after the surprising win, which was the first for an Austrian team in Zakopane.
The Polish team (Piotr Zyla, Kamil Stoch, Andrzej Stekala, and Dawid Kubacki) had the competition under control until they lost the lead after Stekala’s second jump. The athletes of head coach Michal Dolezal finished second, the level of this competition was very high.
Japan and Slovenia were fighting for fourth place, in the end, the Slovenes came in 11 points ahead of Japan. The German team, with Markus Eisenbichler, Karl Geiger, Severin Freund, and Pius Paschke could not meet the high expectations today and was only sixth. „We made too many mistakes today. This is a difficult situation for us, we will now analyze it and give our best again tomorrow“, head coach Stefan Horngacher said after a disposing competition.
The teams of Finland and Switzerland were seventh and eighth, Italy could not qualify for the final round of the best eight teams, but they still had a great competition with the two youngsters Francesco Cecon and Daniel Moroder. At some point, they even had the chance to make the cut for the final, definitely a good day.
Poland now leads the Nations Cup with 2748 points, followed by Norway (2680 points) and Germany (2186 points).
The individual competition in Zakopane starts on Sunday at 4 pm CET