World Cup continues in Sochi


Aircraft with jumpers hit by lighting on the way to Sochi. Seifriedsberger best in official training.

Next stop for the Ski Jumping World Cup is Sochi, Russia. There the athletes have the chance to try out the facilities for their Olympic premiere next winter. The jumping hills are located in Krasnaya Polyana, a mountain area above the city of Sochi. There the temperatures are still clearly above zero, nevertheless the organizers managed to prepare the normal hill for the World Cups of both, ladies and men.

For a large group of jumpers, including the US, Canadian, Norwegian German and Swiss teams, it was already an adventure to get to Sochi. On Thursday evening they took a charter flight there from Zurich. It was a short moment of scare for most, when, after flying through rain and turbulence for a while, the airplane was hit by lightning. Some time later the plane landed safely at Sochi Airport. It happens regularly that aircraft get hit by lightning, but usually these incidents end without any damage to the plane.

Seifriedsberger best in official training

Today two official training rounds were held, a planned third round was cancelled due to bad weather conditions. Best in both rounds was Austria’s Jacqueline Seifriedsberger, who jumped 91.0 and 97.5 meters. In the first round Slovenia’s Anja Tepes jumped 91.0 meters as well, but due to wind compensation she got fewer points as the Austrian. Nevertheless a second jump of 81.5 meters meant only the 30th place in the second round for her. Germany’s Carina Vogt just did it the other way round. After jumping only 80.5 meters at first, she then jumped 96.5 meters and so took the second place of the second round.

Also the performance of Austria’s Daniela Iraschko was very well. With jumps of 88.0 and 96.5 she took the second and fourth round ranks. World Cup leader Sara Takanashi from Japan jumped 85.0 and 97.5 meters and so took the third rank in both rounds. A qualification is not necessary, because only 46 athletes are on the start list.

The Norwegian team had to skip this official training, as their jumping equipment is still Zurich. Nevertheless they will be able to participate in the competitions, as jumpers from other countries will lend them skis and shoes. Maybe it will give some extra motivation to Maren Lundby, that she will most likely use the shoes of Tom Hilde and the skis of Simon Ammann.