New Year's competition: German tour dreams almost gone - Norwegian Granerud wins again

The German ski jumpers had to put up with a big setback in the New Year's ski jump of the Four Hills Tournament and knocked off before the second half of the traditional event.

New Year's competition: German tour dreams almost gone - Norwegian Granerud wins again

The German ski jumpers had to put up with a big setback in the New Year's ski jump of the Four Hills Tournament and knocked off before the second half of the traditional event.

Hopeful Karl Geiger (131.5 and 131 meters) did not get past eleventh place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in spring-like temperatures and glorious sunshine. Olympic champion Andreas Wellinger showed a decent performance in the next demonstration of power by Norwegian Halvor Egner Granerud (140 and 142 meters) in eighth place, but also lost many more points to the tour leader.

21 years after the last German triumph by Sven Hannawald, the wait for the golden eagle is likely to last at least another year. Geiger had big problems in the inrun both in the qualification on New Year's Eve and in the competition on New Year's Day. The 29-year-old top athlete of national coach Stefan Horngacher's team was unable to repeat his competitive performance in Oberstdorf as fourth.

The top favorites around day winner Granerud and his Polish rival Dawid Kubacki in third place offered the 20,000 spectators, some of whom came in T-shirts, a great air show to start the year 2023 in glorious weather and up to 15 degrees. The Slovenian Anze Lanisek followed suit after a weaker start in Oberstdorf this time and finished second behind Granerud.

Germany's head coach Horngacher had expressed optimism despite major problems in the training jumps. "We still have reserves. I hope that the boys will step on the pedals. I'm actually very confident. I see strong reserves in Karl," said the 53-year-old on ARD. In the competition it was different. At least the fans didn't let the mixed German result spoil their mood. The Laola ran through the sold-out stadium, after two years of a corona-related spectator break, some fans obviously had a lot to catch up on.

Before the third competition on Wednesday (1.30 p.m. / ARD and Eurosport) at the Bergisel in Innsbruck, the German team should at best only be up for the overall podium – if at all. Because even that becomes a difficult task in the competition for Granerud, Kubacki, Lanisek and Poland's Piotr Zyla. Geiger and Wellinger are the equivalent of more than 30 meters behind Granerud, who is aiming for the title.

In four of the past five years, a German athlete has made it onto the podium in the famous competition on January 1st. After a poor World Cup week, the experts had only limited confidence for such a success. "The chances of getting on the podium are there. I would put victory aside now, but the chances of getting on the podium are there," said Hannawald in his current position as a TV expert, more than two decades after his victory on the Great Olympic Hill.

Unlike Wellinger and Geiger, who are among the best in the world at the big event, things are still going badly for German record world champion Markus Eisenbichler. As at the start on Schattenberg, there were no points for "Eisei" this time either. "It was a bit more difficult. The wind is blowing from right to left. I slumped. I won't let that pull me down because I also showed good jumps here," said the 31-year-old.

This time, however, he expressed no intention of leaving the tour early. Instead, he wants to continue in Innsbruck and "work out stability".

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