Kamil Stoch third in first competition of FIS Ski Jumping WC

The first out of 36 competitions of the 2019/2020 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup that started in Wisła abounded in dramatic turns with Poland’s Kamil Stoch winning the bronze medal and Piotr Żyła leaving the landing area with a bloody face.

Kamil Stoch came third in the WC’s first individual competition scoring 224.2 pts for a 118 m-long jump in the first round and a 126.5 m-long jump in the second.

He was surpassed only by Norwegian Daniel-André Tande (241.4 pts, 127 and 129 m) and Slovenian Anze Lanisek (225.6 pts, 126 and 126 m).

Another Polish jumper Dawid Kubacki came sixth and Maciej Kot was 25th. The on-the-spot spectators, among them Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, witnessed a hair-raising sight as Poland’s ski jumper Piotr Żyła fell over during his first-round jump attempt after landing on the 119th metre.

When landing, Żyła lost his balance, tripped and fell face-first on one of his skis. The jumper would not move at first but left the landing area on his own.

“It looked very nasty and, in a sense, it still does because the skin on his face is shredded and that is going to take some time to heal,” said physician Aleksander Winiarski, adding that Żyła “remembers everything and feels fine… Nothing serious happened and that’s the most important thing.”

The physician said that Żyła will be able to participate in the coming competition of the WC in Kuusamo, Finland.

Already quite eventful, the ski jumping station in Wisła was also a venue for a presidential decoration. Poland’s multi award-winning ski jumper Adam Małysz, who also remains the only ski jumper to win three consecutive World Cup titles, was awarded the Medal of the Centenary of Poland Regaining Its Independence.

President Andrzej Duda also decorated another successful Polish ski jumper Stefan Hula, who received the Order of Polonia Restituta with the Knight's Cross.

The former coach and contributor to the success of Polish ski-jumpers Austrian Stefan Horngacher was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.

The 2019/2020 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup consists of 36 competitions – 30 individual and 6 team competitions.