Karl Geiger took it with humor. “We will do better next year!” commented the ski jumper on his failed qualifying jump of 119 meters in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on New Year’s Eve, which only earned him 30th place.
Of course, the new year was only a few hours away. So what Geiger meant: Tomorrow will be better, in the competition, in the traditional New Year’s competition. After fourth place in Oberstdorf, the 29-year-old has at least hopes of a podium in the Four Hills Tournament, at like Andreas Wellinger, who is currently sixth in the tournament (19th in qualifying at Garmisch).
Hope New Year’s Day has gone by a bit. “It wasn’t so ideal now,” national coach Stefan Horngacher said of the mixed qualifying: “I think both struggled a bit downhill. The practice track was a bit difficult at the end. Karl also lost his balance a bit, but nothing dramatic.”
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The real duels in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
1.) Geiger against pressure (of radius)
Two steps forward, one step back – that’s pretty much how Karl Geiger’s season can be summed up so far. After the good result on the home hill in Oberstdorf, DSV’s flagship eagle lost again in qualifying from Garmisch-Partenkirchen – only 30th place.
“Daily target achieved, but of course I’m not happy with it,” Geiger told Eurosport: “The jump wasn’t clean, the system didn’t close well. Then the meters dropped. I have to take my time to look at this.”
The problem was in the approach. “It was a jumping error”, immediately analyzes the Oberstdorfer: “The ray pulled me a bit from behind, I did not clean the center of gravity. Then the ski does not grip as it must.”
“Where’s my air cushion?” Geiger disappointed with qualification
At Garmisch, Geiger had again resorted to the helmet model with the distinctive black cheek pads, which can provide aerodynamic advantages in the air. “I think that can be an advantage on a hill like this, but of course you have to jump very cleanly and I didn’t do that today,” he said.
As the spearhead of DSV, Geiger must ultimately meet the high expectations of German fans. If he has cramps during the swing, it’s counterproductive. “I firmly believe that he will present himself better tomorrow,” said EurosportExpert Martin Schmitt: “But it’s still a fight for him, it won’t go away on its own.”
Geiger on causal research: “It was a jumping error”
2.) Granerud against inrun
After the superior victory in Oberstdorf, Norway’s Halvor Egner Granerud is on pole position, but lost feathers on New Year’s Eve. After showing 138 meters on the first practice jump and then jumping the second, he was no longer only 134.5m in qualifying – sixth place.
“He’s vulnerable,” Eurosport pundit Martin Schmitt concluded: “You can see it’s all on the razor’s edge.” A small error in momentum was enough for the 26-year-old to find himself several yards behind qualifying winner Dawid Kubacki (140.5m).
“My run-up position was not optimal at the take-off table, I had a little problem with the bumps on the track,” Granerud told Eurosport: “I have to watch the video and compare it with the training jump.”
For Schmitt, the error was obvious. “He couldn’t keep his balance. The hill can’t take that,” said the 2002 Olympic team champion: “Maybe he was a bit too aggressive.” Granerud will have to hold back a bit on New Year’s Day, but he definitely has what it takes to lead the tour in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, as he did in 2020/21.
Just missed the top five: Granerud lost meters in qualifying
3.) Kubacki against the rest of the world
Clearly: Third place at the start of the Four Hills Tournament was a setback for the overall World Cup leader, who had won four of the eight World Cup competitions to date. In Garmisch-Partenkirchen, however, Dawid Kubacki showed what he was made of: 140.5 meters meant the longest jump of the day and therefore the winner’s check for 3,000 francs in qualifying.
“I still had to manage a bit in training, but I was there at the decisive moment,” the 32-year-old said happily: “I know what I have to do. I’m very calm. ” However, there were still “a few details to improve”, continued the Pole to Eurosport: “The landing was a bit hard, but I have until next year to improve it.”
Overall, Kubacki only sees himself ‘95%’ which, if true, should make the competition pretty shaky. The Pole has already proven he has what it takes on the big Olympic hill.
140.5 meters! Kubacki makes impressive statement in qualifying
In his victory on the circuit in 2019/20, he finished third on the podium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. In 2020/21 he even won and jumped a hill record of 144.0 meters.
“It was his best jump on the circuit so far”, analyzed Schmitt during qualifying for the Pole: “He needed it to have confidence in him. He showed Granerud: I’m still here! It will be exciting Sunday.” The new year is not so far away.
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