Ski Jumping

Karl Geiger celebrates first ski flying world title

German comes out on top after two days of action in Planica, edging out Norway's Halvor Egner Granerud and compatriot Markus Eisenbichler.

By Ken Browne ·

Karl Geiger started strong with a giant jump on Friday and never looked back, claiming his first Ski Flying World Championships crown in Slovenia on Saturday (12 December).

It went right down to the wire as Geiger defeated Norwegian Halvor Egner Granerud by just 0.5 points, 877.2 to 876.7, with Markus Eisenbichler taking bronze.

The 27-year-old German pumped his fists before falling to the snow in delight as Granerud slumped to the ground devastated.

Geiger surprised even himself with an opening jump of 241m on Friday calling it "one of my best ever".

His final leap on Saturday was just shy of that at 240.5m, landing him on top of the podium in Planica.

This was a first individual world title for the PyeongChang 2018 team silver medallist adding to the large hill team and normal hill mixed triumphs at the 2019 Ski Jumping World Championships in Seefeld.

Granerud continued his superb breakout season by taking second on the famous Gorisek brothers' hill.

The 24-year-old currently leads the World Cup ski jumping standings after completing a hat-trick of wins at Nizhny-Tagil in Russia last week.

Eisenbichler is another man enjoying a fine season and he finished third on 859.3 points to make it gold and bronze for Germany.

Austria's Michael Hayboeck had the biggest jump of the entire weekend sailing out to 245.5m on his first take-off on Friday, but could only finish in fourth place at the end of the two-day competition.

Norway's Robert Johansson was fifth after he left himself too much to do in the final round.

Speaking to FIS about the second day, Geiger said, "It was high pressure from the first jump. After my first round I felt really great but I still stayed focused I knew I had to do one more jump.

"The second flight was a bit hanging in the first part but then I saw it was flying OK, and the green light... I'm over it but I was not sure until the end so it's unbelievable. I don't know what to say."

Geiger and Eisenbichler will be looking to add to their medal tally in tomorrow's team competition with Germany among the favourites as Norway defend their crown from two years ago.