Markus Eisenbichler looked like he had changed. Just two days after his big day of frustration in Oberstdorf, the 31-year-old ski jumping world champion in Garmisch-Partenkirchen radiated something like confidence.
"Don't worry, I won't let my head hang. I'm still someone who lets out emotions. Especially when I'm so disappointed," said Eisenbichler after finishing 14th in the qualification on New Year's Eve with reference to Tour start. In Oberstdorf, "Eisei" missed the second round in 33rd place and thus lost all chances of a good placement in the Four Hills Tournament.
He has "no doubts at all" that he would like to continue with the traditional event in Innsbruck and Bischofshofen. That sounded different after the poor performance in the Allgäu. National coach Stefan Horngacher had explicitly emphasized that he wanted to persuade the emotional jumper to continue.
On Saturday, Eisenbichler was even joking again. To the annual standard question about the New Year's Eve plans, he answered jokingly: "Drink wheat beer until we can no longer stand. No, we'll sit comfortably together." He said a little more seriously in the TV interview that the console would "gamble a little Mario Kart". The New Year's competition starts on Sunday at 2 p.m. (ARD and Eurosport).