Two medals for Zylas Wunder: DSV jumpers succeed in the big comeback at the World Championships
Two medals in Zyla’s Miracle
DSV jumpers succeed in the big comeback at the World Cup
02/25/2023, 7:17 p.m
The German ski jumpers experience a bitter season for months – with the Four Hills Tournament as the low point. But at the high point of the season, the team works its way out of the crisis – and wins two medals at the same time. A Pole with a tremendous race to catch up becomes world champion.
The two German ski jumpers Andreas Wellinger and Karl Geiger surprisingly won silver and bronze at the World Championships in Slovenia. Wellinger was second only to Poland’s Piotr Zyla. Geiger was happy about third place. Wellinger and Geiger gave the German Ski Association their third and fourth precious metal in Planica within a few hours. Previously, the German ski jumpers around Katharina Althaus had won gold as a team.
Wellinger jumped a strong 101 and 102 meters on the normal hill. Wellinger was already in second place after the first round, Geiger was third. The competition was extremely tight: At half-time there was less than 2.5 meters between leader Stefan Kraft from Austria and tenth-placed top favorite Halvor Egner Granerud. National coach Stefan Horngacher had spoken of a “millimetre jump” on ZDF before the second round. And in the last few millimeters, his athletes improved their impressive starting position in a sensational way.
“It’s incredibly cool,” said Wellinger on ZDF. The 30-year-old violinist spoke of an “intense day” and said: “It feels so good.” National coach Stefan Horngacher was also completely enthusiastic – and visibly touched: “I’m completely exhausted,” said the Austrian. “To have two medals now is unbelievable.”
Zyla succeeds in catching up
The Pole Zyla, who started as the defending champion, was still in 13th place after the first round – and then left jumper after jumper behind with the hill record of 105 meters. Kraft, who had been in the lead after the first round, was the big loser of the tight race: With only 99 meters, he not only gave up victory with the last jump of the competition, but ultimately jumped just a few tenths completely past the medal ranks. Constantin Schmid took seventh place as the third best German. Markus Eisenbichler ended up in 13th place. In the end, Wellinger was only 2.6 points behind world champion Zyla. “It’s incredibly cool. I made by far my best jumps today,” said Wellinger on ZDF: “The only thing missing for the top were the judges, who gave me an 18.5. I don’t understand that quite.”
Before that, the team even had a season without a World Cup victory for a long time. The German team had no chance at the Four Hills Tournament. Only with Andreas Wellinger’s World Cup victory in Lake Placid did the DSV team turn the tide after a hard training phase in February. For the German team, which had only achieved two podium finishes in the current World Cup winter before Wellinger’s triumph and had produced their worst result in many years at the Four Hills Tournament, Wellinger’s victory was the first World Cup victory since January 23, 2022: At that time, Geiger won two consecutive competitions in Titisee-Neustadt.
The German ski jumping legend Martin Schmitt, himself world champion, Olympic champion and two-time winner of the overall World Cup, had predicted the return of the German jumpers to the top of the world in an interview with ntv.de shortly after the end of a disastrous Four Hills Tournament: “It will be a very, very difficult one Task. But coaches and athletes will now tackle it with all determination to reach another level of performance. And knowing the team, they will come one step closer to the top of the world. And then at least one medal should come out of it.” With the result from Planica, the DSV team finally achieved a small sporting resurrection – just in time for the highlight of the season.