Ski jumping weekend kicks off in Zakopane

All eleven Polish jumpers advanced to Saturday’s individual competition of the ski jumping World Cup in Zakopane. The best performing Pole, Andrzej Stękała, was fifth.

The qualifications were won by Norwegian Robert Johansson ahead of his compatriot Halvor Egner Granerud and Austrian Stefan Kraft.

"Today all my trials were solid, although the conditions were not good and we had to struggle in the air. I hope that tomorrow my jumps will be similar, but the conditions will be better", said Stękała.

Kamil Stoch, who was sixth in qualifiers, said that his Friday jumps were far from perfect.

"I guess it was good on the inrun, there was also a lot of energy on the jump, but during training and qualifying, there was no front wind. Yet, I feel that it was not all about the conditions, but I need to improve some details by myself", said the Polish triple Olympic champion.

Klemens Murańka was seventh, Piotr Żyła tenth and Dawid Kubacki was 13th. The other Polish athletes: Tomasz Pilch, Stefan Hula, Maciej Kot, Aleksander Zniszczoł, Paweł Wąsek and Jakub Wolny also advanced to the Saturday competition.

The conditions on the hill were harsh, and, according to the weather forecasts, it is to be like that on Saturday and Sunday as well. Periodic gusts of changing winds interrupted the competition on several occasions. The jumpers were also affected by the strong frost from -10 degrees Celsius at the beginning of the competition to -16 at the end. The chill was deepened by high air humidity (85 percent) and periodic snowfall.

On Saturday, the training session preceding the main event will be held at 3PM (local time). On Sunday, the qualification to the second contest is scheduled for 2:45 PM and the first round of the competition will start at 4:00 PM.