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Extended Ski Jumping World Cup season finale starts at Planica

Planica, 25 March - The ski flying hill in Slovenia's Planica traditionally hosts the season finale of the Ski Jumping World Cup, this time with an additional individual event. Three individual events and one team event will thus be held Thursday through Sunday.

Planica
The Planica ski flying hill.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA
File photo.

After hosting the Ski Flying World Championships in mid-December, Planica is ready to welcome the best ski fliers again, this time for the traditional end-March World Cup season finale.

Although the competitions on the giant hill will again be held without spectators due to the Covid-19 restrictions, Slovenian jumpers are confident that they will be aiming for the top places in all events.

Some jumpers, including Anže Lanišek, who is currently the best Slovenian competitor, have had a long break as the Norwegian leg of the World Cup had been cancelled, but head coach Robert Hrgota says that their form had remained at a high level.

"Some of the lads have not been consistent, but I think that the venue of Planica will provide them with additional momentum," he said, adding that Slovenia had also had a strong line-up for Saturday's team event.

"I wish that we manage to make a podium finish in the team event at least on home turf. That would really be a patch on the wound of this year's team events," Hrgota added in reference to the team not winning a medal at the recent world championship.

Lanišek said he would take one jump at a time, day by day. "I think that my jumps are at the top level right now, but one needs to be aware that the flying hill is a chapter of its own. My main goal is to enjoy in jumps as much as possible."

Competition director Aljoša Dolhar believes that the hill is prepared for a new world record, which currently stands at 253.5 m, set by Austria's Stefan Kraft in 2017 in Norway's Vikersund. The hill record is held by Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi (252 m).

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© STA, 2021