The Slovenia Times

Planica: Prevc wins on first day to set new World Cup milestones


Competing in front of a home crowd of over 20,000 people, the star of the World Cup season came from third place in the first series to clinch the 14th win of the season and bring his total points tally in the World Cup to 2,123 points.

The previous records of 13 wins and 2,083 points had been set by Austria's Gregor Schlirenzauer in 2009.

Prevc had already wrapped up the win in the World Cup overall standings nearly a fortnight ago, but came to Planica for the final three individual events of the season with sights set on new milestones.

After an uncharacteristic mistake off the table in the first jump saw him land in third with 223 metres, Prevc found the extra distance which has made him the best jumper by a way this season in the second series.

He landed at 232.5 metres for a combined score of 426.5 points to finish ahead of second-placed Johann Andre Forfang of Norway, who had two jumps of 226 metres, by 7.5 points.

Another Slovenian, Robert Kranjec, was third after setting the longest distance of the day at 241.5 metres in the second series with the help of favourable wind conditions. Kranjec scored a combined 414 points.

"Every win is special for me, what makes it even better is that Robi [Kranjec] also finished on the podium in third today," said Prevc.

The 23-year-old acknowledged the massive turnout on the first day of official competition at Planica. "I can't remember so many spectators on a Thursday at Planica. When you take to the ramp, you get to see just how big a crowd it is and the crazy atmosphere below.

"But I managed to get it together for the second jump," he said.

Interest in the World Cup season finale among Slovenian fans has been at fever pitch for weeks due to Prevc's dominant performances in the World Cup.

Many turned out on Thursday in the hopes of seeing Prevc set new milestones in the World Cup and were not disappointed.

For his part, Prevc is not paying too much attention to records. "I'm not thinking about it at the moment," he said. "I'll be telling this to the kids when I'm 60."

After the meet, Kranjec appeared to be more excited about Prevc's records. "What he has done this year is awe-inspiring. I respect and applaud him," said the 34-year-old veteran.

Organisers expect the number of spectators to easily surpass 100,000 for the four days of competition. Tickets for the competitions scheduled to take place at the weekend have been sold out for over a month.

This has put additional pressure on Slovenian competitors, but national team coach Goran Janus believes they have responded positively. "A large weight fell off my shoulders today. It is a great start to the Planica."

In addition to Prevc and Kranjec, Slovenia has three others among the points today: Jurij Tepeš was eighth, Jaka Hvala took 25th and Anže Semenič was in 28th.

The World Cup competitions at Slovenia's most hallowed ski jumping venue will continue on Friday with an individual event in the afternoon.


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