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World Cup at Kulm: Hopes for the Ski Flying World Cup rest on Wellinger

World Cup at Kulm: Hopes for the Ski Flying World Cup rest on Wellinger

Andreas Wellinger has been on the podium at almost all major events in his sport. He is still missing an individual medal in one discipline. His coach is confident that this will now change.

For emotional jumper and action fan Andreas Wellinger, ski flying is just the thing. Shooting down the jump at 100 km/h, jumping off and then sailing through the air for well over 200 meters: the 28-year-old loves that – and in principle he’s good at it.

It is all the more astonishing that Wellinger has already climbed onto the podium at almost all of the season’s highlights in his sport. He is still missing an individual medal at the Ski Flying World Championships. This weekend that should change in Austria.

“It’s the first time in his life that he’s going to the Ski Flying World Championships in very good shape. That’s why he has the best chance of finally winning a medal here,” says national coach Stefan Horngacher of the German Press Agency. “He’s not a professor on the hill. He’s more of an instinctive jumper. Things have to be intuitive for him.”

Famous mega ski jump

Wellinger has already won Olympic gold and won silver at the World Championships. Less than three weeks ago he came second at the Four Hills Tournament. Wellinger is now coming to the famous mega ski jump on the Kulm as a great German hope. “The path is the right one. I’m looking forward to ski flying,” he says. “You need the right feeling from the first moment.”

Wellinger has done a lot in the last few months to ensure that he has this. Almost like a machine, it delivers top performance step by step. Only once this season has he not ended up among the top five ski jumpers in a World Cup. Wellinger was annoyed by the loss of the duel for the tour title against the Japanese Ryoyu Kobayashi, but it didn’t upset him.

“He has extreme clarity in his actions. That is a very solid foundation,” says former national coach Werner Schuster. “He is definitely a candidate for a medal at the Kulm.”

Wellinger’s moving story

Schuster knows Wellinger very well and looked after him in the early years of his jumping career. “He has an eventful story behind him,” says the 54-year-old, referring to Wellinger’s cruciate ligament tear in 2019 and the subsequent sporting setbacks. The difficult times only seem to have made the Bavarian stronger. “It’s like a second career after a long break,” says Schuster. “As a grown man, he can take things differently and has real fire in him again.”

Wellinger doesn’t just have fire and passion for ski jumping. The Ruhpoldinger is also interested in other sports and is inspired by great careers. In his free time, he sometimes grabs his surfboard and jumps into the water wrapped in neoprene. Wellinger usually appears relaxed and in a good mood next to the jump. He seems to be able to ignore the pressure of sporting performance better than many of his competitors.

When the big flying spectacle begins this Friday (2 p.m./ZDF) in Bad Mitterndorf with jumps of over 230 meters, Wellinger is the only German candidate for a medal. Karl Geiger and Pius Paschke, who also celebrated victories this winter, have lost their top form.

With his engaging manner and good humor, Wellinger can help his colleagues. “Andi also makes his contribution by bringing some fun into the team,” says Horngacher, who praises the team structure. The coach also hopes that the fascination of ski flying will release additional strength.

“Ski flying is simply everything times two. It is the supreme discipline of ski jumping,” he says. “That’s simply the greatest thing. We have to look forward to it now, go there with ease and just do the jumps and fly well.”

Source: Stern

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