Status: 10.12.2023, 18:38 PM
Karl Geiger from Germany jumps from the hill. © Hendrik Schmidt/dpa
A good two and a half weeks before the Four Hills Tournament, two German ski jumpers are in top form. One shines at the World Cup in Saxony with two victories, another with a very special jump.
Klingenthal - Karl Geiger fell into the arms of his teammates and celebrated his perfect weekend laughing. The 30-year-old dominated the German ski jumping home game in Klingenthal. With two victories, he catapulted himself into the circle of the absolute top favorites for the Four Hills Tournament. "Yes!" he roared in the run-out.
"He's mentally very strong. What he delivered here today and yesterday was very, very good," said national coach Stefan Horngacher, who nevertheless stated on ARD: "There are still a few reserves."
Geiger prevailed on Sunday ahead of second-placed Swiss Gregor Deschwanden and Andreas Wellinger in third place. In a thrilling competition, Geiger jumped 141 and 141.5 meters.
The day before, he had given the German jumpers their first victory of the season and made it onto the winner's podium for the first time this winter. "I never thought I'd win," he said afterwards. The fact that it should work a second time was all the more impressive. Geiger was also the first jumper to show this winter: The Austrian serial winner Stefan Kraft is beatable. The 30-year-old had won all four World Cup competitions. Now Kraft took second and ninth place.
However, national coach Horngacher did not only highlight Geiger. Looking at the entire team, the coach said on Saturday: "Great team, great atmosphere, great success!"
In a way, this statement can be applied to the whole season so far. With strong individual results and impressive team unity, the DSV eagles have put themselves in position in the fight for the Golden Eagle a good two and a half weeks before the tour. 22 years after Sven Hannawald's triumph, this year it should finally work out with the longed-for tour victory. Two Germans seem to be in contention for a place at the top of the tour at the moment and should be equipped with plenty of self-confidence.
In addition to Geiger, Wellinger also had reason to be happy on Sunday. The 28-year-old not only jumped to third place. His set of 146.5 meters in the second round, with which he set the hill record in the Vogtland Arena like Deschwanden, also provided feelings of happiness.
"The jump was really fantastic," said Horngacher enthusiastically. "That gives us hope for more." In six competitions so far this season, Wellinger has already made it onto the podium four times. In addition to Geiger and Wellinger, Pius Paschke and Stephan Leyhe have already achieved top three places from the German team. On Sunday, Paschke finished eighth, Leyhe finished tenth.
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Numerous international top jumpers, on the other hand, are currently struggling: Last year's tour winner Halvor Egner Granerud from Norway, Poland's Dawid Kubacki and Slovenian World Champion Timi Zajc have so far fallen far short of their own standards.
In a year without the Winter Olympics and World Championships, the tour is indisputably the big highlight of the season. It is becoming more and more unlikely that Markus Eisenbichler - for many years a German main protagonist of the ski jumping spectacle - will be there again this time. The 32-year-old is looking for his form in the second-tier Continental Cup. This weekend, he only finished 14th and 23rd there. dpa