Four Hills Tournament: Ahonen wins in Innsbruck
- 2005-01-03 18:43
In windy Innsbruck, some jumpers could take advantage of favourable wind conditions, others suffered from strong blasts of wind. Norway's Sigurd Pettersen, the last year's winner of the Four Hills who is considered as a victim of new FIS regulations concerning weight of an athlete, beat in his pairing Germany's Martin Schmitt with an impressive effort of 126 metres. His jump let him take the 2nd place after the first leg. Adam Małysz, suffering from windy conditions, managed however to make a technically good jump of 123,5 metres and finished in third, ahead of the Czech Republic's Jakub Janda, who jumped 122 metres. The leader after the first round was nobody else but Janne Ahonen, who soared to a brilliant 128,5 metres.
Austria's Thomas Morgenstern, floating to 127,5 metres in the final round, made the longest jump of the second leg. As the later competitors were jumping in heavy winds, Morganstern moved from his first-round 24th place and finally ended in 4th position. Jakub Janda, with a second-round effort of 118 metres, beat Morgenstern on points and assumed top place. Not for long, however, as Adam Malysz leaped to 120 metres and took the lead. Sigurd Pettersen, second after the first round, recorded the worst jump of the second leg (100,5 metres) and dropped to 23th position. But Ahonen proved the wind is not strong enough to blow him off the target: he jumped 120 metres, which with his first-round effort was enough to give him the overall victory.
Poland's Robert Mateja, who impressed with good attempts in training and qualification rounds, today finished 28th. He entered the top 30 after a modest effort of 103,5 metres, which turned out to be enough to overtake Alan Alborn from USA. In the second round, he leaped to 112,5 metres. In the Four Hills Tournament overall standings, he slipped to 14th place.
It seems the tide has turned for Martin Schmitt: today, he entered the final round as a lucky loser after a rivalry in pairing with Sigurd Pettersen, but finally finished in 7th position, after two efforts of 117 and 119,5 metres.
Before the last stage of the Tournament, Ahonen leads with 49.1 points over Adam Małysz and 40.7 points over Thomas Morgenstern. Will Ahonen win the four events of the Four Hills Tournament? We will learn that in Bischofshofen, on Thursday.