Ski jumping: Stoch soars to victory on home snow

Polish jumpers Kamil Stoch and Dawid Kubacki took first and third respectively at Sunday’s ski jumping World Cup event in Zakopane, southern Poland. Stefan Kraft from Austria finished in second place.

Piotr Żyła ended up in eighth, as the Polish jumpers thoroughly entertained the mainly 25,000 partisan crowd on Sunday, after somewhat underwhelming start to proceedings during Saturday’s team competition, when Poland were a disappointing fifth.

In the first round, Dawid Kubacki continued his recent glittering form with a 140 metre jump. That saw him top the midway standings, over four points ahead of Stephan Leyhe from Germany and Kamil Stoch.

Piotr Żyła, the third athlete from Poland to qualify to the second round was seventh, while the overall leader of the World Cup series, Karl Geiger, was 10th.

Other Polish participants, Aleksander Zniszczoł and Maciej Kot didn’t make it beyond the first round, further proof of the widening gap between Kubacki, Stoch and Żyła and the rest of the Polish jumpers.

Geiger bounced back with his second effort and moved up to the 5th spot. Piotr Żyła made a shorter jump and fell to eighth.

Stefan Kraft, known for his splendid style had made by-far the furthest jump (138 metres), but it was swiftly overtaken by a huge 140-metre-long effort by Kamil Stoch, giving him the lead.

Leyhe, second after the first round, jumped 134 metres in slightly worse weather conditions saw him move down a spot to third. However, Dawid Kubacki had the final jump and soared 133 metres in a comparable wind to knock Leyhe off the podium by just 1.3 points.

Kamil Stoch grabbed his 35th World Cup victory overall, and is the only jumper in history who has won at least one event over ten consecutive years. In turn, Dawid Kubacki extended his podium streak to nine.

The overall standings of the World Cup did not change significantly, although Kubacki (4th) caught up a bit to the third placed Ryoyu Kobayashi. Geiger retained the lead ahead of Kraft, while Kamil Stoch, currently 6th, now has the Norwegian Marius Lindvik in his sights, just 10 points behind.