Dhe mediocre qualification dampened the mood of the broken German ski jumping team. Markus Eisenbichler and Karl Geiger do not want to completely tick off the golden eagle for the overall winner of the Four Hills Tournament, but high hopes were no longer visible in the faces of the pursuers.
“I hope that there will be a reaction of defiance,” said “Eisei” before the final on Wednesday (4.45 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Four Hills Tournament, on ZDF and on Eurosport). It was one of the most optimistic statements on Tuesday in Bischofshofen. National coach Stefan Horngacher even said after Eisenbichler’s eighth place and Geiger’s 25th place: “Now we have to see that we keep our heads above water.”
Before the qualification, Eisenbichler had sounded clearly more optimistic. “You must never give up believing that something is still possible,” said the emotional Upper Bavarian with a view to the coveted trophy, which Germany’s pilots have not won for 19 years. Eisenbichler in fifth and the violinist, who was one place better, are right behind the podium before the big ski jumping final in Bischofshofen. After the defeat in Innsbruck, the trend clearly speaks against the Germans. “At the moment I’m a bit dogged, but now I let myself be licked by the ‘beep-beep'”, said Eisenbichler about his own mood.
Geiger is almost 14 meters behind
The leading Pole Kamil Stoch is almost 14 meters ahead of Oberstdorf winner Geiger, “Eisei” is another five meters behind. “We will attack,” announced the three-time world champion from 2019 confidently despite all the setbacks. Together with roommate Geiger, he wants to put “King Kamil” under pressure. Little of that was seen on Tuesday. Stoch also won the qualification and consolidated his favorite position. It is unlikely that the experienced Pole would make such a big mistake as Geiger, who lost more than 15 meters on the Bergisel in Innsbruck.
For that, Stoch – at 33 years old still among the absolute best in the world – is simply too constant. “A lot would have to happen before we could catch the Poles up there,” said Geiger. Despite better prospects, the ski flying world champion has even fewer hopes than his buddy Eisenbichler.
Even national coach Stefan Horngacher cannot imagine that Stoch will make the big mistake that is necessary from a German point of view and give up the lead at the final showdown on Wednesday. “Not at all in Bischofshofen. He likes the hill. ”The 51-year-old knows the veteran and three-time Olympic champion well and trained him for three years as a Polish national coach.
“A hundred percent professional”
“First and foremost, the Kamil is a hundred percent professional,” Horngacher describes his former protégé. “He subordinates everything to the sport, even his private life.” The Austrian goes even further: “He is the perfect ski jumper.”
Stoch has already triumphed twice in the tour, in the 2017/18 season even as the winner in all four competitions. Andreas Wellinger came second at the time. The duel between Germany and Poland has a long tradition: Martin Schmitt and the last German touring champion to date, Sven Hannawald, had one of their greatest competitors in the Polish ski jumping legend Adam Malysz.
In defending champion Dawid Kubacki, another jumper from the country, which is crazy about ski jumping, is second at the front. Between the two Poles and the two Germans lies the Norwegian Halvor Egner Granerud. Far more realistic than attacking the tour title is a podium for Geiger and Eisenbichler. Actually also a worthwhile goal, right? “I’m not interested in the podium”, says Eisenbichler and adds in the best Bavarian dialect: “If I do, then I gwinna. I’m being very honest about that. “