Planica hosting men's and women's Ski Jumping World Cup finale

Ljubljana, 21 March - The Planica Nordic Centre is hosting the Ski Jumping World Cup finale this week, this time also for women jumpers, with Slovenia's Nika Prevc to confirm her overall victory at Thursday's event. The highlight of the men's schedule will be the second individual event on Sunday, which will see the farewell of successful veteran Peter Prevc.

Slovenian ski jumper Nika Prevc competing at the women's large hill event at the 2023 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA
File photo

The finale of the 45th Ski Jumping World Cup season will start today on HS102, the third largest hill in the Planica Nordic Centre, which will host the last event of the season for women.

It will be a mere formality for Nika Prevc as the 19-year-old Slovenian has already secured the overall victory in the World Cup in Norway's Vikersund last Sunday.

Commenting on Planica also getting the season finale in the women's World Cup, Tomaž Šušteršič of the organising committee said "we would also like to see women jumpers end the next season on the ski flying hill".

This is in light of Slovenia having the ambition to host the Ski Flying World Championships in 2028 for both men and women.

Nine men jumpers are meanwhile expected to take part in the final three events of the season - individual competitions on Friday and Sunday and the team event on Saturday. Only the best 30 jumpers of the season will compete on Sunday.

These will include Peter Prevc, one of the most accomplished ski jumpers ever, who earlier this season announced he will bid farewell in Planica to professional competitions. He managed a promising 243.5-metre jump in Vikersund last week.

After the eldest of the four ski jumping siblings Prevc watched last year's season finale at home due to an injury, he will be ready to go on Friday. "I think that the whole Planica will be crying," the 31-year-old said about his retirement.

While Austria's Stefan Kraft has already secured the overall victory in the men's World Cup and third large crystal globe in his career, after the 2016/17 and 2019/20 seasons, the race for the small crystal globe for the best ski flyer is still open.

Kraft is in the lead also in this category, but things have not been decided yet, as his closest pursuer, the fellow countryman Daniel Huber (294 points) is 91 points behind him. Slovenia's Timi Zajc is currently third with 246 points.

In the Nations Cup, Slovenia will be fighting for the second place with Germany, while Austria has already secured the first place.

While there were some concerns due to the mild weather, the organisers say the situation is under control, with enough show having been accumulated on the ski jumping hills over the previous, colder weeks.

"Tickets are selling well," Šušteršič said, noting that the venue could accommodate 30,000 to 35,000 visitors a day. Last year, a total of 57,000 spectators were at the venue in four days of the competitions.

The Planica Nordic Centre will also serve as a venue for a high-profile political meeting today, with the Slovenian and Polish presidents, Nataša Pirc Musar and Andrzej Duda, attending a Slovenian-Polish business forum on cyber security and AI.

© STA, 2024