The Slovenia Times

Norway win team event at Planica, Slovenia fourth


Planica - Norway won the team event at the Ski Flying World Championships at Slovenia's Planica on Sunday, overtaking Germany in the last round as Halvor Egner Granerud performed better than Karl Geiger, who beat the Norwegian yesterday in the individual event. Slovenia bounced back from the turmoil in their ranks by finishing fourth.

The Norwegian team thus defended their gold medal from the previous Ski Flying World Championships to earn the fifth medal for the nation in team events.

After Geiger won the individual event and his counterpart Markus Eisenbichler finished third on Saturday, Germany were considered favourites to win their first team event, and they were actually at the very top all the way until the last round.

But Granerud turned the things around in the last jump, bringing Norway's total tally to 1,727.7 points, against Germany's 1,708.5. The bronze medal went to Poland, which scored 1665.5 points.

"The competition was really crazy. We fought a fierce battle with the Germans. We knew that Granerud has a win in himself. We believed, but it was not any less nervous because of that," Norway's Daniel Andre Tande told the press after the win.

The world ski flying champion from 2018 in Oberstdorf, who won the gold together with Granerud, Johan Andre Forfang and Robert Johansson, added that "this was one of the most difficult experiences in my career."

While Geiger tried to comfort his team-mates, saying that it was a "nice competition, exciting until the end", Eisenbichler was disappointed, saying that "I really wanted to become the team world champion. I'm a little bit sad."

Following turmoil in the national team that saw jumper Timi Zajc and head coach Gorazd Bertoncelj leaving the team on Saturday, Peter Prevc returned to the squad to help Slovenia take the forth place (1,609.9 points).

Defending the team bronze from the previous championships, Slovenians fought with the Poles for the third place until the very end. Planica obviously remains an enigma for the home team as they have never won a ski flying medal there.

The veteran Prevc told the public broadcaster TV Slovenija that the "final jump was a confirmation for me that I'm still able to gather myself for a competition and this provides me with a lot of motivation for the future."

Competing the last for Slovenia was Anže Lanišek, who managed a 231-metre jump in the first round and a 231.5-metre effort in the second to confirm the fourth place for Slovenia.

Interim head coach Robert Hrgota said "hats off to the lads. They have done a really professional job, which augurs well for the rest of the season. The lads really showed their true faces today."

The remaining four teams were far behind - Japan (5th) scored 1,483.5 points, followed by Austria (1,422.1), Russia (1,356.3) and Finland (1,284.8).


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