Karl Geiger happily showed his thumbs up, in the heavy snowfall his yellow jersey stood out a little more. One day after his furious opening win, the 28-year-old from Oberstdorf defied the cold of Russia on Sunday in wintery Nizhny Tagil and took second place. “Dream start. By the way, I like to wear yellow, ”wrote team world champion Geiger on social media. The Norwegian Halvor Egner Granerud secured victory in the second individual on Sunday. Third place went to Austria’s Stefan Kraft.
His third individual victory in a row across all seasons gave the top ski jumper from the Allgäu not only the coveted bib of the overall leader on Saturday, but also a winning streak that no other German had achieved since Severin Freund 2015. “I am extremely happy with this great start. It burned under my nails, I wanted to get started now. Starting with a win is incredible. I can’t get out of the grin, ”said Geiger.
The violinist, who is known as a constant guarantor, got off to a perfect start in the upcoming long hill winter with highlights at the Four Hills Tournament, the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing and the Aviation World Championships in Norway. With 180 points, he is also allowed to take the yellow jersey with him to Ruka, Finland, where he will have to defend it again next weekend in two singles against big rivals Granerud and Ryoyu Kobayashi, who was disqualified on Sunday.
The trend clearly speaks in favor of Geiger. He had finished the last season impressively with two individual victories in Planica, four World Championship medals and further podium places in flying and in Romania. He has now started the new season in the way that a top athlete could wish for. “That was really fun now,” said Geiger, who laughed almost all weekend. On the first weekend of winter, he was flanked by his colleagues, whose joy could also be clearly seen behind the FFP2 masks.
The results of Geiger’s friend Markus Eisenbichler and returnees Stephan Leyhe also gave the Horngacher team hope. “Eisei” achieved two very decent results in sixth and eighth. For Leyhe, after a cruciate ligament tear, positions 14 and tenth and the associated World Cup points are already a success. “The conclusion is good. I would say I’ve improved from jump to jump. I’m more than satisfied, ”said Leyhe. Olympic champion Andreas Wellinger took 17th World Cup points at the end of the weekend – for the first time since 2019.
For the organizers, it was less gratifying that there were positive corona cases on the first World Cup weekend. During a test called at short notice, a German supervisor and two jumpers from Poland and the USA tested positive. The people were isolated; the failures did not have a major impact on the competitions. National coach Horngacher spoke of a “massively bad quarantine” in which the German supervisor is.