Hello world class, I'm back: Andreas Wellinger has called off his talent again
Photo: Swen Pförtner / dpa
Ski jumper Andreas Wellinger ensured the DSV Adler's first World Cup victory this winter in Lake Placid, USA.
The 27-year-old jumped 129 and 125.5 meters on Saturday and won ahead of Ryoyu Kobayashi from Japan.
For Wellinger it was the fourth individual World Cup victory of his career and the first podium finish in an individual World Cup since November 2018. Austria's Daniel Tschofenig was third.
The surprise victory follows a long period of suffering: Wellinger had been looking for his form of earlier days for years.
With three medals - including gold in the individual on the normal hill - Wellingen, who was considered a top talent early on, shaped the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
A cruciate ligament tear in June 2019 threw him off track for a very long time.
Wellinger temporarily slipped out of the World Cup team and was not nominated for the 2022 Winter Games in China.
Been a while with rising form
Most recently he had flashed his class from earlier days again and again.
But it wasn't enough for a real breakthrough.
The first World Cup day for ski jumpers in the USA since 2004 went great right from the start.
Even before the actual competition, Wellinger showed that he was a force to be reckoned with that day: he won the qualification, which had to be rescheduled the day before because of the strong wind just before the decisive two rounds.
After his victory in the competition, Wellinger's Bavarian jumping colleague Karl Geiger was also happy.
"Mega cool," he said of Wellinger's performance.
Geiger himself is slowly stabilizing again.
After a fifth place last weekend in Willingen, he also showed a slight upward trend on Saturday with jumps of 127.5 and 120.5 meters.
"It was a really nice ski jumping day," said the man from Oberstdorf.
"It was great fun." Eighth place on his 30th birthday should not be the end of the development for the best German jumper in recent years.
Markus Eisenbichler also achieved a decent result with his tenth place.
In a week and a half, national coach Stefan Horngacher's team has to be in good shape: that's when the world championships will begin in Planica, Slovenia.