The 'Flying Finn' halfway from winning the Tournament
- 2005-01-01 19:41
In New Year 2005, Ahonen continues to dominate the ski jumping season. Today, he didn't have any problems with winning in his pairing: he beat Japan's Kazuya Yoshioka with a huge jump of 124 metres, which was the longest in the first round. The Finn took the lead ahead of Georg Spaeth and Thomas Morgenstern. The third longest jump of the second leg (121,5 metres) was made by Austria's Martin Hoellwarth, but he lost too much points to the best athletes to finish on the podium and ended 4th. Georg Spaeth didn't manage to hold his second place, but settled for the lowest step of the podium, much to the delight of spectators gathered at the stadium. Thomas Morgenstern, with his 122 metres, overtook Spaeth, but it was impossible for him to stop Ahonen: the Finn won the 9th event of the World Cup. With his second leap of 128 metres, he was close to replace Adam Małysz as the hill record holder. After Garmisch, Ahonen leads in the overall Four Hills Tournament standings, ahead of Morgenstern and Norway's Roar Ljoekelsoey.
Martin Schmitt, who in spite of his bad shape, still remains favourite of the crowds, has earned his first World Cup points this season. In the first round, he overtook Switzerland's Michael Moellinger with a narrow margin of 0,1 point, In the second leg, he managed to move to 27th place. When it comes to the vice-leader of the World Cup standings, Jakub Janda, he surely won't include his last performances to his impressive credits of this season: 9th in Oberstdorf, today he finished 6th.
Fans of Polish ski jumpers have finally a reason to be happy: today's 12th place by Robert Mateja has shown that he is able not only to make technically good, consistent jumps, but also to compete with the best ski jumpers of the season.
The Four Hills Tournament continues on Monday, with an event in Innsbruck, Austria.