However, the Norwegian triumphed in the Raw Air series and is also the early winner of the overall World Cup. He was sure of his second big crystal globe after 2020/21 before the competition because his rival Dawid Kubacki did not compete.
In fourth place, Michael Hayböck missed another ÖSV podium just 1.2 points behind Anze Lanisek from Slovenia. Daniel Tschofenig (9th) and Jan Hörl (10th) also made it into the top ten. Kraft, on the other hand, celebrated his second win after the World Championships without an individual medal. He also achieved three second places in the Raw Air, the only outlier was an eighth place due to bad luck.
In the overall classification of the Norway series, which also includes the qualifiers, defending champion Kraft was 18.2 points behind Granerud. In third place, Lanisek was already over 100 behind Salzburg, who, 24 hours after his 249 m flight in the test run with a hard impact on his head, still achieved his 29th World Cup success despite a few injuries.
“The whole Raw Air was a big fight with Halvor, I put pressure on the flies. I’m very happy about the win, which is really something special,” emphasized Pongau, who was successful for the first time on his world record hill. After the first round, he was nine points behind Granerud (234) with a clear maximum distance of 246.5 meters, but gripping the snow and therefore poor posture grades. In the final, under tricky conditions, he flew significantly further with 235.5 than the Norwegian with 219, which put him in second place by 7.6 points for the season’s dominator (12 wins).
The first Raw Air win by a Norwegian was no longer in danger due to Granerud’s large lead. The 26-year-old had already been unbeatable at the Four Hills Tournament this year, but, like Kraft, went away empty-handed at the World Cup. In the World Cup, on the other hand, Granerud hardly showed any weaknesses. There are still three competitions on the program in Lahti and Planica until April 2nd, which means he can theoretically equal the season record of 15 wins set by Slovenian Peter Prevc in winter 2015/16.
But there is something about power. The 29-year-old promised that he would recover from the muscle injuries he suffered on Saturday by next weekend and then attack again. In the overall World Cup he is only 42 points behind Kubacki, who did not start on Sunday for unspecified personal reasons.