Ski Jumping

Norway edge Germany to retain ski flying world crown

Halvor Egner Granerud was Norway's hero with a superb last jump to overhaul Karl Geiger and Germany as Poland took bronze in Planica.

By Ken Browne ·

Norway won a third consecutive team title at the World Ski Flying Championships after a brilliant last leap from Halvor Egner Granerud in Planica, Slovenia.

They trailed Germany by 14 points going into the final jump with Granerud up against freshly-crowned individual champion Karl Geiger.

But ski jumping World Cup leader Granerud sailed out to a massive 234.5m and scored 250.1 to put the pressure on Geiger.

And the 27-year-old could only manage 224.5m as Norway snatched victory with 1727.7 points to Germany's 1708.5.

Poland took the bronze with a total of 1665.5.

Germany came into Sunday's competition as favourites with in-form Markus Eisenbichler and Geiger jumping well.

But it was Norway who just managed to retain their title from Obertsdorf in 2018, denying Germany a first team world crown as they won silver for the third time.

"This is just insane," said Norway's Daniel Andre Tande to FIS afterwards.

"I can't describe my emotions because they've been all over the place throughout the competition. It's been a really hard fight with Germany and it's just amazing."

When asked if Norway still thought they could win coming into the final jump, Tande replied, "It was 14 points and 14 points in ski flying is nothing. Granerud was 14 points before Geiger in the trial run so we knew he had it in him. We believed but it was still nerve-racking."

The Norwegian quartet on top of the podium was Granerud, Tande, Robert Johansson and Johann Andre Forfang.

Norway clinch it at the death

Poland led the charge early on with 25-year-old revelation Andrzej Stekala landing 228 and 229m jumps and Piotr Zylwa leaping 234m.

A shock win for Poland looked on the cards but slowly the quality of the German squad told with Norway staying within touching distance too.

When Poland's three-time Olympic gold medallist Kamil Stoch came up short with 205.5m, a door opened for Germany and Eisenbichler cleared 230m to put Germany back on top at the halfway mark.

Norway were always there or thereabouts and trailed Germany by just 0.5 going into the second and final round.

While it wasn't a typically brilliant Robert Johansson day by his lofty standards, he improved as the competition went on when his team needed him most, improving from 220m to 229.5 in the second round, contributing 433.9 points to the cause.

The Polish challenge for first place slowly faded with Dawid Kubacki unable to find top form, but a bronze medal matched their result from two years ago and they have plenty of positives to take away.

Stoch, Kubacki and Piotr Zyla remain from that team in Obertsdorf with Andrezj Stekala looking an exciting addition.

The German quartet of Geiger, Eisenbichler, Pius Paschke and 21-year-old Constantin Schmid came close to a first team world title, and there was an agonising wait as Geiger's final jump points were tallied.

The hands of the three jumpers watching went instinctively to their mouths as Geiger landed just short of where they had hoped..

And their worst fears were realised when the points came in, Granerud's ice-cool final jump right before Geiger had won the day to leave the Norwegians dancing and celebrating a hat-trick of ski flying team world crowns.