Slovenian eagles defend ski-flying world title
Slovenia's men defended the title of ski-flying world championships at the team event on 28 January as Timi Zajc, Lovro Kos, Peter Prevc and Domen Prevc braved difficult conditions to edge favourites Austria and Germany.
Austria finished 26.5 points behind the defending champions while Germany came in 65.5 points adrift.
While several jumpers managed distances in excess of 230 metres in the first round on the iconic Kulm hill, consistency is what gave Slovenia the victory overall.
The third group had particularly challenging wind conditions and not a single jumper exceeded 200 metres. But this is precisely where Domen Prevc gave Slovenia the decisive advantage, having managed a jump of 194 metres to widen the 17-point gap to 43 points.
The last Slovenian jumper, Zajc, was thus able to jump unencumbered to add gold to the bronze medal in the individual competition he won a day earlier.
"I'm supper happy and relieved, we've done the best we could. When Domen started everyone was scared, but he managed to widen the gap more than anyone else. When I saw the green line I told myself that this was good enough. I did not expect such an outcome two weeks ago," he said.
"Everything worked out well, so we're really happy. Until Domen landed, Peter and I were pretty nervous. It was quite nerve-wracking. But for Timi, all three of us knew he was able to secure a victory, so there was less tension," said Kos.
For Peter Prevc, like other ski jumpers referred to by Slovenian fans as an eagle, this is the third world champion title and he said it was "the best one because it is the latest one."
There have been ten team events at ski flying world championships to date and Slovenia is one of just three countries to have won. Norway has five titles and Austria three.