SKI JUMPING: Ski Flying season takes off in Obertsdorf!

Slovenia's Timi Zajc (Photo: FIS)

Your typical hill for most men’s World Cup ski jumping competitions is 130-150 meters, certainly a challenge. But this week’s jumping will be off the big hill – 235 m! – in Obertsdorf (GER). This isn’t ski jumping, this is ski-flying … and at night!

Originally scheduled for two events, a third competition was added to make up for the loss of the large-hill event in Titisee-Neustadt (GER) from 9 December. And Friday’s competition introduced a new World Cup winner in Timi Zajc, 18, from Slovenia.

Zajc earned his first-ever World Cup medal in Sapporo last week, but was only sixth after the first jump in Obertsdorf, reaching 220 m. But his second try was a beaut, all the way out to 233.5 m and earning 222.6 points, the best in the second round. That gave him a 430.1-424.8 win over Poland’s Dawid Kubacki, with Germany’s Markus Eisenbichler third.

Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi finished seventh, but still has an imposing 1,251-821 lead over Stefan Kraft (AUT), with Kamil Stoch (POL) still third at 789. There will be two more days of ski-flying; Stoch and Kubacki were 1-3 last season at Obertsdorf, but that was off the 137 m hill.

NBC’s Olympic Channel has delayed coverage of the ski-flying events: tonight at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, then on Saturday at 7 p.m. Eastern and Sunday at 4 p.m. Eastern time. Look for results here. Summaries from Friday:

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup
Obertsdorf (GER) ~ 1-3 February 2019
(Full results here)

235 m hill I: 1. Timi Zajc (SLO), 430.1; 2. Dawid Kubacki (POL), 424.8; 3. Markus Eisenbichler (GER), 423.3; 4. Piotr Zyla (POL), 421.8; 5. Kamil Stoch (POL), 420.5.

The women’s jumping this week in staying in Europe, in Hinzenbach (AUT) off a 90 m hill. It will be the first jumping for women there in two years since last year’s event was cancelled due to weather.

In early 2017, it was Japan’s Sara Takanashi who was dominant, winning both jumps. She was followed by Katharina Althaus and Carina Vogt for silvers and Vogt and Norway’s Maren Lundby for bronzes.

Now it’s Lundby, the defending World Cup champ from 2017-18, who is back atop the World Cup standings once again after three wins in a row and four out of five. She has 788 points to 747 for Althaus and then 511 for Juliane Seyfarth (GER).

Lundby led the qualifying on Friday at 88.0 m and 114.4 points; look for results here.