Eisenbichler wins qualifiers at Planica, all Slovenians in
Planica, 10 December - The Ski Flying World Championships started at Slovenia's Planica on Thursday with qualifiers for Friday's individual event. Markus Eisenbichler of Germany fared the best with 222.5 points earned with a 225.5 metre jump. All four Slovenian jumpers who took part have qualified.
The best Slovenian among the 40 jumpers who qualified for the individual event was Bor Pavlovčič, who jumped 220 metres to earn 202.8 points and 11th place, followed by Timi Zajc (216 m/198.7 points) in 14th place.
Also qualifying from the Slovenian team are Anže Lanišek (214.5 m/197.9 points) in 16th place and Domen Prevc (216.5 m/187.2 points) in 21st place.
Commenting on the results, Slovenia's head coach Gorazd Bertoncelj told the public broadcaster TV Slovenija it was "so-so today. Bor was solid, Anže and Timi made some heavy mistakes, and Domen, who also tested his jersey today, made an even heavier mistake."
Bertoncelj believes that Slovenian jumpers have a lot of reserve in the tank, and he would like to see them jump around ten metres longer to compete for the top positions.
Eisenbichler, the winner of the last World Cup event on the Brothers Gorišek hill at Planica in 2019, has obviously again found his winning ways. He also had a good form as his jump was not the longest one today.
The longest flight was taken by Michael Hayböck of Austria, who landed at 242.5 metres for 216 points and second place in the qualifiers. Halvor Egner Granerud of Norway, the winner of the last three World Cup events, was third (215.6 points).
Missing out was Slovenia's Peter Prevc, one of the heroes of Planica and former world champion and record holder, who failed to show a good form in internal Slovenian qualifiers during the official training.
Commenting on Bertoncelj leaving him out of the team, Prevc said that "I did all that I could ... but the other guys were stronger and better today. It was a fair decision."
Also out of the individual event, which will see four rounds between Friday and Saturday, is the current world record holder Stefan Kraft of Austria (253.5 metres in Vikersund in 2017), who has aggravated a back injury.