On Wednesday, January 3, the Four Hills Tournament competition took place in Innsbruck. After the qualifications, the White and Reds were in high positions, but they had difficult rivals. The first series was full of sensations.
The qualifications for the competition in Innsbruck were very successful for most of the White and Reds. Kamil Stoch was 12th, Paweł Wąsek 14th, Piotr Żyła 16th, and Maciej Kot 18th. Aleksander Zniszczoł qualified with a roll and took 49th place. Unfortunately, for the first time in his career, Dawid Kubacki did not qualify for the Four Hills Tournament. Despite good results, our jumpers faced very difficult rivals.
Four Hills Tournament: Outstanding Piotr Żyła in the first series
The first of the White and Reds on the beam was Maciej Kot. He had to face Karl Geiger, 33rd after qualifying. The first attempt was made by a German who jumped to a distance of 120.5 m. Unfortunately, our representative jumped 3 meters closer and unfortunately lost in this pair. Unfortunately, the White and Red team did not advance even as a “lucky loser”.
Then we saw another German-Polish duel. Piotr Żyła faced Pius Paschke. The German representative was the first to reach the beam. The competitor made an even weaker attempt than his compatriot – 114 m, so “Wiewiór” had a huge chance of eliminating his rival. Thomas Thurnbichler’s protégé made an excellent jump, flying 131 meters, which made the Austrian coach euphoric.
A moment later, the 37th qualifying competition between Valentin Foubert and Paweł Wąsek took place. The Frenchman landed on 109.5 m, which allowed us to believe that our second representative would win his pair. The Pole jumped 1.5 m closer, but won by 0.4 points thanks to weaker winds under his skis.
In the case of the pair Johann Andre Forfang (39th) – Kamil Stoch, the situation was similar. The Norwegian jumped 121.5 meters and set the bar quite high for our champion from Ząb. Interestingly, the Pole achieved exactly the same distance, but won thanks to better results and a weaker wind under his skis.
Piotr Żyła just off the podium in the first series
At the end, we watched Aleksander Zniszczoł and Stefan Kraft. The Austrian was the clear favorite. The Pole landed on 121 meters, and the winner of the first four World Cup tournaments jumped only two meters further. It is worth mentioning that he started from a lowered beam. Our representative’s result allowed Peter Prevc to be eliminated from the group of “lucky losers”, thanks to which he qualified for the final series.
After the first series, Jan Hoerl (134 m) was the leader. In second place were Lovro Kos (135 m) and Ryoyu Kobayashi (128 m) ex aequo. Piotr Żyła was just off the podium. Kamil Stoch ultimately took 20th place, Aleksander Zniszczoł 25th, and Paweł Wąsek 29th. Unfortunately, Maciej Kot finished the competition in Innsbruck in 34th place.
Four Hills Tournament: Kamil Stoch’s great jump in the second series
One of the first White and Reds we saw from the beginning of the second series was Paweł Wąsek. The Polish representative jumped very nicely, 121.5 meters, which allows us to hope that he will soon be able to make better attempts. Aleksander Zniszczoł landed 1.5 m closer to his compatriot, but overtook Karl Geiger, who was in weaker form. 20. After the first series, Kamil Stoch made a fantastic 130-meter attempt and gained several positions over his higher-placed rivals.
A scandalous decision when jumping by Piotr Żyła
Piotr Żyła, fourth after the first series, had to wait a while to make his jump. All because of the gusty wind, which made it difficult to carry out the second series. Ultimately, our representative found himself in very poor conditions, the worst among all the players. Unfortunately, he was not able to repeat the feat from the first series and only reached 115 meters, which meant that the highest classified Pole was Kamil Stoch. According to commentators, the judges could have stopped to wait for the wind to calm down
The competition in Innsbruck was won by Jan Hoerl (127.5 m). Ryoyu Kobayashi (132 m) was second, and Michael Hayboeck (135 m) was on the lowest step of the podium. Among the White and Reds, the highest placed 11th was Kamil Stoch. Piotr Żyła was 14th, Aleksander Zniszczoł 24th and Paweł Wąsek 29th.
Results of Polish jumpers:
11. Stoch – 130 m
14. Żyła – 115 m
24. Zniszczoł – 120.5 m
29. Wąsek – 121.5 m