Four Hills Tournament 2022/2023: Here’s what you need to know about the ski jumping highlight –

Photo: imago / GEPA

Each year, the Four Hills Tournament is the first highlight of the ski jumping calendar. Before the start, answers all the important questions about the ski jumping classic.

When does it start and what’s new?

This year’s Four Hills Tournament starts on Wednesday with official training and qualification in Oberstdorf, Thursday the first competition is scheduled on the Schattenbergschanze. The other stations are the traditional New Year’s competition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (31 December 2022 and 1 January 2023), the Bergisel competition in Innsbruck (3 and 4 January 2023) and the final on the Epiphany in Bischofshofen (5 and 6 January ).2023). provides detailed information about the four stations. You can also discover the detailed program here:

What are the particularities of the Four Hills Tournament?

Unlike all other World Cup competitions, the Four Hills Tournament is traditionally held in a knockout mode. The qualifying rounds, which take place the day before the competitions, are of particular importance – because the first evaluation round then takes place in the so-called knockout mode.

Here’s how knockout mode works in detail

A total of 25 pairs, or 50 jumpers, compete in the first round. The 25 winners then advance to the final round, which is also completed by the top five losers, the so-called “lucky losers”. Since 2017, there have been no more pre-qualified athletes – this means that all the best ski jumpers must take part in the preliminary round.

Is there enough snow?

Although recent high temperatures have melted the snow considerably in the Alpine regions, the organizers are prepared at all four venues: they gave the go-ahead two weeks ago – at the then freezing temperatures it was possible to produce enough artificial snow snow to match the plus degrees of the last few days to brave. When most of the teams arrive in Oberstdorf on Tuesday, the area will be mostly green, but the hill will be covered with enough artificial snow.

“Thanks to the cold nights and wintry weather, we have already been able to produce enough snow in all four stadiums with minimal energy expenditure, so that we can now quickly start preparing the hills,” said in advance. tournament chairman Peter Kruijer.

What are the favourites?

As the big favorite, Dawid Kubacki will travel to the Allgäu. The Polish ski jumper has already won the Four Hills Tournament in 2019/2020. But unlike when he started the first highlight of the season as a blatant underdog, he should feel a lot of pressure this time around: after four wins this season, he tops the overall World Cup standings. . The fact that virtually all fans of ski jumping mad Poland are counting on his victory shouldn’t make his job any easier. More recently, he had to miss the national championship in Poland shortly before Christmas because of a cold.

Besides Kubacki, who was no worse than sixth in all competitions, Slovenian Anze Lanisek (three season wins, only one slip to 25th place) and Austria’s Stefan Kraft (one season win, four times on the podium) are the most stable. Kubacki’s teammate Piotr Zyla, Halvor Egner Granerud of Norway and defending champion Ryoyu Kobayashi of Japan are also among the favourites.

And what are the chances of the Germans?

The German squad has had a mixed start to this World Cup winter. After the worst start in twelve years, Karl Geiger was able to raise some hopes heading into the Four Hills Tournament three weeks ago at the home World Cup in Titisee-Neustadt – there he managed the only podium of the German Ski Association (DSV) this season. Although the Oberstdorfer’s season feels like a roller coaster ride, he should be the hottest iron in national coach Stefan Horngacher’s squad.

“The start of the season was a bit fragile and therefore not easy for me. But the trend is going in the right direction,” Geiger said at the opening competition in his hometown of Oberstdorf and added: “Last year, the starting situation as a big favorite before the tour was definitely different for me. Competitors are in this situation this year.

What is it about?

The Four Hills Tournament enjoys a particularly high status in ski jumping: because it is jumped on four different hills, unlike the World Championships or the Winter Olympics, it is not the condition of the day Who’s deciding. Many well-known top athletes such as Martin Schmitt and Simon Ammann have left empty-handed in the past.

» 2022/2023 World Cup calendar (men): all dates at a glance

The tour also receives more media attention than any other winter sports event in the series. The importance of an overall tournament victory can hardly be measured in money – and yet the jumpers also benefit financially: since the 70th anniversary edition, the prize money has increased significantly. In addition to the usual World Cup prizes, the overall winner will receive an additional 100,000 Swiss francs (around 100,800 euros). A victory in qualification is rewarded with at least 3,000 francs (3,000 euros). After the final in Bischofshofen, the overall winner will receive the coveted golden eagle as a trophy.

How can I follow the Four Hills Tournament live?

In Germany ZDF (Oberstdorf and Bischofshofen) and ARD (Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Innsbruck) and ZDF broadcast live, in Austria ORF1. In addition, Eurosport also broadcasts all competitions live.

» Four Hills Tournament Live on TV: All Transmission Times at a Glance

All television channels rely on recognized experts: on ARD, Sven Hannawald supports the team around host Lea Wagner and commentator Tom Bartels, while ZDF relies on the Austrian Toni Innauer. At Eurosport, Martin Schmitt and ex-national coach Werner Schuster rank the performance of athletes.

And what offers

to As usual, you will receive all important reports before, during and after the competitions. Our editorial team is on site at all four resorts and provides comprehensive reporting that doesn’t just focus on German ski jumpers. We report in detail on all jumps – training, qualifying, practice and competition – in live blogs, which complement the official live ticker.

Also interesting: Throw before the 71st Four Hills Tournament a look back: The 70-year history of the high point of ski jumping at the turn of the year has written many curiosities and anecdotes.

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