January 01, 2018
For those new to ski-jumping, the Four Hills Tournament is an annual event held around the New Year that takes place at four locations in Germany and Austria. While part of the FIS World Cup season, the tournament has some peculiarities that make it an enjoyable introduction to the sport over the holidays. Perhaps most notable is the use of a knock-out system to determine who makes it to the second round. While in standard meetings the top 30 jumpers in the first round go through to the second, at the Four Hills events the 50 athletes are put in pairs and then have a jumping dual, mano-a-mano, with the winners going through to the second round, along with the top five losers. This makes for some friendly rivalry among the jumpers, and also enables some friendly gambling at home or in bars, especially when the pivo and vino are flowing.
The second of the four events of the Four Hills Tournament was held on January 1 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER). The day was won by Poland’s Kamil Stoch, with 283.4 points and jumps of 135.5 m and 139.5 m, followed by Richard Freitag (GER, 275.8 pts, 132.0 m and 137.0 m), Anders Fannemel (NOR, 270.2 pts, 132.5m and 136.5m), and Junshiro Kobayashi (269.2 pts, 137.0 m and 131.5 m), with the top five completed by the best-performing Slovene of the day, Tilen Bartol (268.9 pts, 136.0 m and 133.5 m), who has to wait some time for the wind to die down before hurtling down the ramp.
Four other Slovenes made the cut and finished in the top 30, these being Peter Prevc in 8th place, with a longest jump of 138.0 m, Jernej Damjan Jernej (13th, 138.0 m), Ziga Jelar (21st, 125.5 m), and Timi Zajc (22nd, 134.0 m). Full results can be found here, on the FIS site.
The results put Stoch in first place after two events of the Four Hills, with 563.1 pts, and Freitag in second place (551.3 pts), who remains in the top spot overall for the World Cup. The tournament now pauses for a few days before starting again in Innsbruck, Austria, on January 4, and then moves to Bischofshofen, Austria, for the final event on January 6.