Andreas Wellinger wins Ski Jumping World Cup in Lake Placid
Jumps better than his shadow: Andreas Wellinger in Lake Placid
Olympic victory, cruciate ligament tear, long search for form: Andreas Wellinger has experienced a lot in his career. In the USA he is now creating something that he has not been able to do for a long time. That gives the team courage for the World Cup.
Scelebrated a return to the world elite of ski jumping Andrew Wellinger with a loud “Yes!” Excited and also a little incredulous, the 2018 Olympic champion was happy about the unexpected success in Lake Placid after a long period of suffering with several injuries. Cheering, he hugged his teammates and supervisors. At the World Cup in the USA, Wellinger gave the German ski jumpers the long-awaited first World Cup victory of the winter.
The 27-year-old jumped 129 and 125.5 meters on Saturday and won ahead of Ryoyu Kobayashi from Japan. For Wellinger it was the fourth individual World Cup victory of his career and the first podium finish in an individual World Cup since November 2018. Austria’s Daniel Tschofenig was third.
Wellinger’s performance “mega cool”
Wellinger had been looking for his form of earlier days for years. With three medals – including gold in the individual on the normal hill – the mostly cheerful action sports fan had shaped the Winter Games in Pyeongchang. A cruciate ligament tear in June 2019 threw him off track for a very long time. Wellinger temporarily slipped out of the World Cup team and was not nominated for the 2022 Winter Games in China.
Most recently he had flashed his class from earlier days again and again. But it wasn’t enough for a real breakthrough. The first World Cup day for ski jumpers in the USA since 2004 went great right from the start. Even before the actual competition, Wellinger showed that he was a force to be reckoned with that day: he won the qualification, which had to be rescheduled the day before because of the strong wind just before the decisive two rounds. After his victory in the competition, Wellinger’s Bavarian jumping colleague was also happy Karl Geiger with. “Mega cool,” he said of Wellinger’s performance.
Geiger himself is slowly stabilizing again. After a fifth place last weekend in Willingen, he also showed a slight upward trend on Saturday with jumps of 127.5 and 120.5 meters. “It was a really nice ski jumping day,” said the man from Oberstdorf. “It was great fun.” Eighth place on his 30th birthday is by no means the end of development for the guarantor of success in recent years.
Markus Eisenbichler also achieved a decent result with his tenth place. A week and a half before the start of the World Championships in Planica, Slovenia, Wellinger’s performance in the team of national coach Stefan Horngacher is particularly encouraging.