Ski-jump­ing Sea­son Fi­nale

SkiTrax - - Contents - by Noah Simms

Women March 3-4 – Ras­nov, Ro­ma­nia

Fol­low­ing the Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea, the women’s ski-jump­ing World Cup re­sumed in Ras­nov, Ro­ma­nia with Germany’s Katha­rina Althaus tak­ing the vic­tory, as she posted the best jump of the day in qual­i­fy­ing. Dan­ger­ous wind con­di­tions forced the can­cel­la­tion of the fi­nal round. Olympic cham­pion and World Cup leader Maren Lundby of Nor­way placed sec­ond, while Ca­rina Vogt of Germany came in third. Nita Englund of the U.S.A. was the lone North Amer­i­can, fin­ish­ing in 39th.

On the sec­ond day of com­pe­ti­tion, Nor­way’s Lundby bounced back to take the win, dom­i­nat­ing the rest of the com­peti­tors with 257.8 points and a 20-point mar­gin over Germany’s Althaus, who fin­ished a mere 0.1 points ahead of 17-year-old phe­nom Nika Kriz­nar of Slove­nia, in third for the first World Cup podium of her ca­reer. Amer­i­can Englund bumped up one spot from the pre­vi­ous day, plac­ing 38th, but did not qual­ify for the fi­nal.

March 11 – Oslo, Nor­way

Nor­way’s Lundby took her sec­ond con­sec­u­tive World Cup win on the fa­mous Hol­menkollen hill. The Olympic gold medal­ist crushed the op­po­si­tion with a 30-point gap over sec­ond-place Daniela IraschkoS­tolz of Aus­tria, while Ja­pan’s Yuki Ito rounded out the podium in third. No North Amer­i­cans com­peted.

March 24-25 – Ober­st­dorf, Germany

The sea­son fi­nale was held in Ober­st­dorf, Germany. Al­though the over­all was al­ready de­cided, there was still a tough bat­tle for the fi­nal podium spots, with Ja­pan’s Sara Takanashi com­ing out on top. It was a record-break­ing per­for­mance for this ath­lete, who earned her 54th World Cup vic­tory. Aus­tria’s Iraschko-stolz placed sec­ond, with Nor­way’s Lundby in third. Amer­i­can Sarah Hen­drick­son placed 26th.

On Day Two, in the fi­nal event Takanashi re­peated her vic­tory from the pre­vi­ous day, with her last jump well over the 100-me­tre mark. It was déjà vu for the podium as well, with Aus­tria’s Iraschko-stolz and Nor­way’s Lundby joined the Ja­panese skier. Hen­drick­son was once again the top U.S. skier, but she did not qual­ify for the fi­nal.

Nor­way’s Lundby was awarded over­all World Cup se­ries ti­tle, with Germany’s Althaus sec­ond, while Ja­pan’s Takanashi, moved up to take third over­all. Abby Ringquist (USA) and Tay­lor Hen­rich (CAN) were tied in 45th as the top North Amer­i­cans. In the bat­tle for the Na­tions Cup, Germany nar­rowly beat out Ja­pan by five points.

Men March 3-4 – Lahti, Fin­land

The Team event greeted the ath­letes for their first World Cup since the Pyeongchang Games, with Germany com­ing out on top ahead of Poland. Nor­way rounded out the podium in third. The Amer­i­can team did not qual­ify for the fi­nal run, and fin­ished 11th.

On the sec­ond day of com­pe­ti­tion, Poland’s Kamil Stoch re­turned to his win­ning ways to take over the World Cup se­ries lead by 130 points. Germany’s Markus Eisen­bich­ler nabbed his sec­ond podium of the event be­hind Stoch, while Aus­tria’s Ste­fan Kraft took third, bounc­ing back af­ter a rough start to sea­son. U.S. skier Kevin Bick­ner was the top North Amer­i­can, plac­ing 20th, as Cana­dian Macken­zie Boyd-clowes, in 32nd, nar­rowly missed out on qual­i­fy­ing.

March 10-11 – Oslo, Nor­way

The Olympic cham­pi­ons from Pyeongchang re­turned to the win­ner’s cir­cle in Oslo, Nor­way. The Nor­we­gian team dom­i­nated, with Poland al­most 60 points be­hind in sec­ond. Aus­tria came out on top of Germany for the bronze medal de­spite a strong fi­nal jump by An­dreas Wellinger. No North Amer­i­can teams com­peted.

Cana­dian Boyd-clowes posted a fan­tas­tic re­sult in the In­di­vid­ual com­pe­ti­tion, plac­ing 15th with a score of 233.2 points. Daniel An­dre Tande of Nor­way took the win as Stoch of Poland set the bar high in qual­i­fy­ing, but plum­meted to sixth in the fi­nal. A pair of Aus­tri­ans fol­lowed, with Kraft and Michael Hay­boeck tak­ing sec­ond and third re­spec­tively. Bick­ner was the only Amer­i­can com­pet­ing and placed 36th.

Oslo also hosted the open­ing round of the RAW AIR Tour­na­ment, with Poland’s Stoch in the lead, fol­lowed by a posse of Nor­we­gians that in­cluded Robert Jo­hans­son, Jo­hann An­dre For­fang and Tande close be­hind. The Tour­na­ment toured Nor­way with stops in Lille­ham­mer and Trond­heim, with the fi­nale in Vik­er­sund on March 18.

March 13 – Lille­ham­mer, Nor­way

Poland’s Stoch ex­tended his lead in the RAW AIR Tour­na­ment with a win in Lille­ham­mer. He out­classed his op­po­nents to take the 28th World Cup win of his ca­reer. An­other Pole joined him on the podium with David Kubacki in sec­ond, while home-town star Jo­hans­son was third. Cana­dian Boyd-clowes just squeaked into the fi­nal, plac­ing 27th over­all to sit 32nd in the RAW AIR stand­ings.

March 15 – Trond­heim, Nor­way

Stoch of Poland took his fifth win out of six events at the RAW AIR se­ries with a new Hill record of 146 me­tres in the process. Aus­tria’s Kraft and Nor­way’s Jo­hans­son filled out the podium in sec­ond and third. Bick­ner of the U.S.A. broke a cold spell and qual­i­fied for the fi­nals, end­ing up 26th on the day, while Cana­dian Boyd-clowes was 44th. Stoch con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate the RAW AIR stand­ings, with Jo­hans­son in sec­ond. Boyd-clowes moved down one spot to 33rd, while Bick­ner was 38th.

March 17-18 – Vik­er­sund, Nor­way

The Nor­we­gian squad took home the team vic­tory at the penul­ti­mate event of the RAW AIR Tour­na­ment. The teams from Poland and Slo­vakia claimed sec­ond and third re­spec­tively.

In the fi­nale, the host coun­try swept the podium, with Jo­hans­son tak­ing his first World Cup win on his way to sec­ond-place over­all in the RAW AIR stand­ings be­hind Poland’s Stoch, who sealed the over­all with six wins in the process. Nor­we­gian An­dreas St­jer­nen rounded out the podium in third, as Amer­i­can Bick­ner jumped up five places to fin­ish 33rd. Sadly, Cana­dian Boyd-clowes could not com­pete due to health rea­sons. The stage was then set for the fi­nal World Cup in Plan­ica, Slove­nia.

March 23-25 – Plan­ica, Slo­va­nia

Poland’s Stoch launched a 245-me­tre jump to snag the win on Day One in Plan­ica over Nor­way’s For­fang in sec­ond, with Aus­tria’s Kraft in third. Bick­ner of the U.S.A. took home his best re­sult since the Olympic break, plac­ing 16th.

Nor­way con­tin­ued its Team-event dom­i­na­tion, grab­bing its third con­sec­u­tive win. Germany landed in sec­ond with con­sis­tent jump­ing, while Slove­nia, mo­ti­vated by the home crowd, pipped Poland for the fi­nal podium spot.

Poland’s Stoch re­turned to the podium in the fi­nal event of the sea­son with his 31st World Cup win, with Aus­tria’s Kraft sec­ond and Nor­way’s Tande in third. No North Amer­i­cans com­peted.

Poland’s Stoch at 30 dom­i­nated the sea­son with nine wins to take the over­all ti­tle over Germany’s Richard Fre­itag, with Nor­way’s Tande third. Amer­i­can Bick­ner was the top North Amer­i­can in 39th, while Cana­dian Boyd-clowes was 47th. In the Na­tion­als Cup, Nor­way took the over­all ti­tle.

Canada's Macken­zie Boyd-clowes claimed a stel­lar 15th in Oslo. U.S.A.'S Kevin Bick­ner was the top North Amer­i­can over­all.

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