Karl Geiger laughed relaxed and joked with the Slovenian winner Anze Lanisek at the award ceremony. Just in time for the hot phase of the World Cup winter, Germany's best ski jumper is getting in better shape again.
A good two and a half weeks before the start of the Four Hills Tournament in his home town of Oberstdorf, Geiger celebrated third place in snowy Titisee-Neustadt and thus the first podium finish for a German ski jumper this season. After his jump of 141.5 meters in the second round, he roared his joy after a difficult few weeks on Friday.
Not counting on the podium
"I didn't expect the podium," said national coach Stefan Horngacher on ZDF. "We are very satisfied. We have more than achieved our goal." After places 34, 17, 6 and 33 at the first two World Cup stations, the strong performance in the Black Forest should be the start of more successful times again. "Karl has worked his way back up. He hit the last jump really well," said Horngacher. On Friday, Geiger was only beaten by Lanisek and second-placed Dawid Kubacki. The Pole is still at the top of the overall World Cup.
Geiger is still missing something to keep jumping for victories, but his relaxed mood shows: The 29-year-old also realizes that he is on the right track. Confidence in one's own strength is particularly important in psychologically demanding ski jumping. After his first jump of 135 meters, Geiger happily gave his thumbs up.
His buddy Markus Eisenbichler, on the other hand, is still looking for his top condition. With jumps of 127.5 and 128.5 meters and 21st place, the Bavarian again fell well short of his potential. "The feeling isn't there yet," said the 31-year-old. And announced: "I will continue step by step."
Goal: Top fit for the Four Hills Tournament
He still has more jumps in the Black Forest and the World Cup in Engelberg on the weekend before Christmas in order to gain self-confidence for the Four Hills Tournament with better performances. Eisenbichler is not yet giving up hope for the first major highlight of the season: "My goal is really the tour, so that I'm in top shape and feeling good again."
As the second best German, Constantin Schmid finished seventh on Friday. Stephan Leyhe in 15th place and Pius Paschke in 22nd place also received World Cup points. Andreas Wellinger did not succeed. The 2018 Olympic champion was eliminated after a jump of 121.5 meters after the first round. Wellinger fell during training the day before and injured his ankle slightly.
This Saturday, the jumpers continue with the first mixed team competition of the season (11:45 a.m. / Eurosport, partly ZDF).