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German ski jumpers making progress ahead of Beijing 2022, says Sven Hannawald

2021-01-16 16:00:00 Xinhuanet

WARSAW, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Despite performing below expectations recently, the German ski jumpers are going in the right direction before the Olympic Games in Beijing, three-time Olympic medalist Sven Hannawald told Xinhua in an interview.

Karl Geiger and Markus Eisenbichler both long for the Olympic podium. Germany will also be among the favorites in the team competition. However, currently, the ski jumpers coached by Stefan Horngacher are not in their best shape.

"We have two great jumpers, and I expected better performances for them in the Four Hills Tournament. After the competition in Oberstdorf, Geiger was in the lead, and there was no good performance in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Many teams have great jumpers in the same ranks, so you have to show quality at the most important moments. I hope Germany will shine next year, exactly 20 years after my triumph. It would be a beautiful story," Hannawald said.

The 46-year-old believes in Horngacher, who left Poland national team in March 2019 to take over the German ski jumpers.

"The trainer found himself in a completely different situation than in Poland. He was really just starting to build a strong team here, but after taking over the team it is difficult to introduce your philosophy right away. There are big demands in Germany, so if the jumpers are successful, Horngacher is praised, but when there are two or three weaker performances, the discussion starts right away. But I think the work of the trainer is assessed positively here in Germany," the former ski jumper added.

Hannawald is impressed with the performances of Kamil Stoch, who took a massive victory in the Four Hills Tournament recently. The Pole is considered to be a strong favorite to stand on the Olympic podium next year in China.

"At the beginning of the season, Kamil wasn't in his best form. Then, from the very beginning of the Four Hills Tournament, he jumped so well and even became better and better in every next competition. In the current season, he needed time to develop his optimal form, but he is on the right track and is showing top class again," Hannawald concluded.

The Four Hills Tournament is considered one of the most important competitions of the ski jumping season. The tournament started in 1953. Every year the athletes compete in Germany (Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkichen) and Austria (Innsbruck, Bischofschofen). Stoch claimed his third gold medal in this year's competition concluded on January 6 in Bischofschofen, while Geiger finished second and Stoch's teammate Dawid Kubacki also stood on the podium. Enditem

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