Józef Jarząbek for “Wprost”: Thurnbichler should take the risk. Polish juniors could take part in the World Cup

Józef Jarząbek for "Wprost": Thurnbichler should take the risk.  Polish juniors could take part in the World Cup

The current season is not going according to Polish jumpers' expectations. Józef Jarząbek believes that the national team coach should use other solutions than usual.

Last weekend in Lahti, Aleksander Zniszczoł gave us great reasons to be happy, who took third place in the individual competition on Sunday, recording the first World Cup podium in his career. On Friday, he took eighth place. That's where the good news ends. The remaining white-and-reds were not able to even score points. This should have forced the coaching staff to change their strategy, but it did not happen.

Thurnbichler did not reach the juniors. This is a mistake

At the same time, when the competition in Lahti was held, some Polish jumpers were sent to the Continental Cup. Three of our juniors showed solid performance there – Łukasz Łukaszczyk, Tymoteusz Amilkiewicz and Kacper Tomasiak. The first two mentioned players were especially eye-catching. Fans started asking on the Internet why Thomas Thurnbichler was sticking to the concrete squad for the World Cup.

It was suggested that it was worth giving at least one of the juniors a chance for the first Raw Air competition. However, this did not happen. Thurnbichler recently explained his decision.

– I know that fans ask us to take younger players to the World Cup. However, we must be realistic – the World Cup is a different level than the Continental Cup. You get lower speeds at the threshold and you can't make any mistakes. I really appreciate the recent efforts of the juniors, but I believe that they should continue their work in the “second league” competitions and fight for further points and build self-confidence – said Thomas Thurnbichler for the Polish Ski Association.

Józef Jarząbek does not fully agree with the Austrian's decision. Dawid Kubacki's first coach admits that it is worth giving young people a chance to become among the best jumpers in the world.

– Young competitors jumped in the Continental Cup without any burdens, because it was known that they were going to learn and would not count in the fight for victories. I would even take two of them to the World Cup. I'll tell you more. Perhaps Łukasz Łukaszczyk would have a chance to score points. In my opinion, coach Thurnbichler should have taken the risk and focused on young people. There is nothing to lose here, and the point is not to let them in for the entire season, but for individual competitions. We see what happens to older jumpers. They compete practically all the time, but there is no visible improvement or stabilization of their form at a higher level – says Józef Jarząbek in an interview with “Wprost”.

The trainer from Zakopane recalls an example from the past. He went back to the time when the Polish team was managed by another Austrian.

– In the past, the legendary Hannu Lepistoe had three or four juniors for the World Cup and rotated them between individual weekends. Then the players could also compete in competitions of this rank. Now we had nothing to lose, adds Jarząbek.

Kubacki went to training too late

Ultimately, the Polish national team will start the Raw Air tournament with the following lineup: Aleksander Zniszczoł, Piotr Żyła, Kamil Stoch, Maciej Kot and Dawid Kubacki. The latter returns to the World Cup after training in Eisenerz. Jarząbek admits that in this case his former protégé could have gone for quiet training much earlier, which was recommended by Thurnbichler. However, the player remained stubborn, and this did not bring the expected results.

– The coach was somewhat right. On the other hand, Dawid did not even have the opportunity to train in Poland recently, because the ski jumps in Zakopane and Szczyrk were not prepared. You had to go abroad. I think that the Four Hills Tournament was a certain determinant, which should give the coach and players a lot of conclusions. I have the impression that a moment of quiet training was missed and Dawid continued to take part unnecessarily – said our interlocutor.

– If it was known that we would not be able to get good places at the Four Hills Tournament, we should have withdrawn from it earlier and trained for the Polish Tournament. At that time, the facilities in Poland were ready. Meanwhile, at the World Cup, sometimes you have two jumps and there is a competition. It's difficult to improve something so suddenly, he emphasized.

You can't make this mistake again

The current season is not only disappointing for Aleksander Zniszczoł, which is why more and more people are looking for reasons why the Polish team performed so poorly. Jarząbek does not try to analyze jumping technique and other details on the hill. However, he talks about the trip that disturbed the team after pre-season training. This is exactly about the trip to Cyprus.

– Going to Cyprus just before the season was probably a bad idea. Soon after, the players traveled to Scandinavia, and the temperature difference was about 40 degrees. Such a scale must have had a direct impact on their bodies. In fact, it was visible throughout the team. Back then, no one knew that it would have such serious consequences, concluded Jarząbek.

The Raw Air tournament starts on Friday, March 8. Then there will be a prologue to the individual competition in Oslo. The entire event taking place in Norway will end on March 17 in Vikersund.

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