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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

“The two weeks we missed the icing on the cake, the over form”

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Mario Stecher
Image: gepa
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In the end it was “only” bronze. This is on a ski jump facility where the squad of ÖSV head coach Andreas Widholzl trains a lot. A point in which not only Mario Stecher sees room for improvement.

“We didn’t cope 100 percent with the conditions, with the ski jumping facility itself,” said the sporting director of the ÖSV when asked by the APA – Austria Press Agency. “It’s a stale aftertaste that we didn’t manage to be there on the spot. We have to see that we improve that for the future.” Of course, according to the 45-year-old, everything could have gone differently if Stefan Kraft hadn’t dropped from first half-time to fourth place in the first competition. “Maybe then the team could have jumped up free.”

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But the jumpers were also responsible for the fact that red-white-red did not win gold in these title fights. “You can’t just pick it up. This time we didn’t quite get to the point that we were a bit lucky at the Olympics last year and were there on day X,” Stecher summed up. In the World Cup, the team shows its compactness, but that wasn’t quite the case at the big event this time. “We missed the icing on the cake for the two weeks, the over form.”

Of course, there are still a few chances to prove yourself in the World Cup this winter. Next week there is a doubles competition in Oslo, followed by two more large hill competitions in Lillehammer in the Raw Air and another competition in Lahti. “I’ve celebrated two World Cup victories there and therefore always love to go there,” said Michael Hayböck with anticipation. “And then my favorite hill for the Grande Finale,” he alluded to at the end of the ski flying season in Planica. There are still flights in Vikersund.

In the two weeks of the World Championships, Hayboeck in particular was shown how closely related success and failure can be in this sport. On the large hill, the 32-year-old (since Sunday) was confronted with symmetry problems for a long time, but in the team competition they suddenly disappeared and he was up there at the front. “There are such nuances – two millimeters in the binding and a little more squatting, then it starts to work again. Before that you think you’re doing nothing wrong, but you don’t get to fly. That’s ski jumping.”

For Kraft, it’s still about the top three in the World Cup, as he is currently fourth only 18 points behind the Slovenian team world champion Anze Lanisek. However, the leaders Halvor Egner Granerud and Dawid Kubacki are probably too far away, the Norwegian and the Pole will decide the overall World Cup among themselves. The number of wins this season is expandable for the Austrians, the only two individual successes in 2022/23 go to Kraft’s account. So it’s no coincidence that it didn’t work out with gold in Planica.

more from Nordic skiing

For ÖSV combined athletes, the freestyle should follow the “mandatory” bronze

Ski jumping: Austrians went empty on the World Cup large hill

Blechvogel Kraft defiant: “I’m in great shape”

Combined Lamparter wins World Championship bronze

: Nachrichten

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