It was Eva Pinkelnig’s weekend. The premature start of the Ski Jumping World Cup held a lot of good things even without snow. The best thing about it, in my opinion, was the fact that the women were finally offered a worthy media stage to start with.
What a joy to watch Pinkelnig from Vorarlberg, who jumps extremely well and is full of emotions, at work with yesterday’s victory and third place on Saturday. For me, the 34-year-old is a phenomenon with her late career start and the serious injuries she has overcome, especially since women’s jumping has experienced a brilliant boost in quality in recent years. The previously common, less aerodynamic style of jumping is a thing of the past, “women” no longer need to fear comparison with men.
Fettner’s new body language
Austria’s men were convincing across the board in the first competition. It has been a long time since an ÖSV team has started a World Cup winter in such a strong and compact manner. I’m particularly impressed by Manuel Fettner, whose body language has changed significantly. He seems aggressive, knows what to expect from him and is not easy to please. However, extremely difficult conditions prevailed on Saturday. Such a competition with so much precipitation could never have been held on snow. The ÖSV-Adler could not keep up with the brilliant final on Sunday, but that shouldn’t diminish the joy of the successful start.
The Polish team certainly felt the greatest pressure, and their appearance on the home hill in Wisla was almost stylized as a state act. The status of ski jumping in Poland cannot be compared to that in Austria, where it is practically a national sport. The team around neo-head coach Thomas Thurnbichler withstood this strain, which cannot be overestimated.
However, new materials controller Christian Kathol didn’t shy away from disqualifying Polish superstar Kamil Stoch and original fourth-place finisher Ryoyu Kobayashi of Japan for wearing oversized suits. It speaks for the Austrian functionary that he immediately shows the limits and doesn’t get involved in any discussions.
It’s a pity that the World Cup is now on a longer break, because this weekend made you want more. For those nations that disappointed at the start, such as Germany (men) or Slovenia (women), the coming training weeks are of course worth their weight in gold.