When the winner Dawid Kubacki was loudly celebrated in the midst of the frenetic Polish ski jumping party, the opening day for Germany's hopefuls was long over. Markus Eisenbichler, Andreas Wellinger and Karl Geiger experienced a sobering start in Wisla.
"It's extremely difficult today with the rain that continues all the time. The conditions are also changeable," said German champion Wellinger, who finished 23rd, well below expectations. While Eisenbichler was at least close to the top ten in 13th place, world champion Geiger made a real false start in 34th place.
"One mistake is often enough"
So the hill show took place with fascinating attempts by the winner Kubacki, the second Halvor Egner Granerud (Norway) and the third Stefan Kraft (Austria) without German participation in the top. At the mat premiere as the start of the longest winter in ski jumping history, the protégés of national coach Stefan Horngacher had problems of their own and the conditions. "One mistake is often enough, then it's three or four meters too short," Wellinger stated on ARD. He compared the conditions with the stopping rain to a car driving into a puddle.
The first location determination in the long winter with the Four Hills Tournament and World Championships in Planica went wrong for the German team. Wellinger and Geiger in particular started the season with great ambitions. It was completely unexpected that Pius Paschke would be the best German in twelfth place at the start. Because Paschke had only secured the sixth and last ticket against Stephan Leyhe in an internal qualification.
This year: early start of the season
It had already looked similar in qualifying on Friday evening: Geiger, Eisenbichler and Wellinger failed, the best German was Philipp Raimund in fourth place.
TV viewers initially had to get used to the less wintry look with mats and lots of greenery. In order to avoid the World Cup (November 20th to December 18th), the world association Fis decided to start the season particularly early this time. In view of climate change, however, the mats could be used more frequently in the future. "The question of the future will not be what we want - but what we can do. What can still be represented in our society? The question is: what is the right way?" said Germany's team manager Horst Hüttel on Saturday.