Polish ski-jumper Kamil Stoch has won the 69th Four Hills Tournament, joining a total of four Poles who found themselves in the top six of the general standings, with Stoch coming first, Dawid Kubacki third, Piotr Żyła fifth and Andrzej Stękała sixth. This is the third time that Kamil Stoch has triumphed at the Four Hills Tournament, the most prestigious event in the ski-jumping world, as he had previously won in 2017 and 2018.
Stoch crushed his rivals at the final competition in Austria’s Bischofshofen. He won the first round with an excellent 139-meter jump and was first with a 7.3-point lead over Gerrman Karl Geiger, who was second. Norwegian Marius Lindvik was third, followed by Piotr Żyła. Dawid Kubacki was 12th in the competition. In the general classification of the entire tournament, after the first round, Stoch had a powerful 30-point advantage over Gegier who was only 0.9 points ahead of Dawid Kubacki. Stękała and Żyła found themselves in the top six. Stoch blew away any doubts in the second round of the Bischofshofen competition when he delivered a 140-meter jump – winning not only the single competition but the entire Four Hills Tournament. In this edition of the tournament, Stoch was also first at the Innsbruck competition. He was second in Oberstdorf and fourth at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. For the second time in the tournament’s history, two Poles found themselves in the top three of the general standings, prompting Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki congratulated the Polish ski-jumpers on their incredible success.
“Amazing emotions during the last competition of the Four Hills Tournament which ended with the great triumph of Poles! Huge congratulations to Kamil Stoch for his third victory in the tournament and for Dawid Kubacki for his third place. Today, Bischofshofen is white-red!” President Andrzej Duda also praised the Polish victors, posting on social media: “Kamil Stoch is the king of the Four Hills! Bravo! Yet another great victory of Mr. Kamil’s in the tournament. A beautiful triumph with incredible style. We thank you from the depths of our hearts for these beautiful moments of happiness in difficult times. Gratitude and huge congratulations for the entire Polish team! Respect!”. Dramatic start to the tournament Prior to the tournament, there were worries that the Poles would not even be permitted to participate in it. A week ago, Polish ski-jumper Klemens Murańka was diagnosed with the coronavirus and the Polish team was not allowed to participate in the qualifications of the inaugural Four Hills competition in Obersdorf, Germany. The following day, however, Murańka’s COVID-19 test, as well as the rest of the team, came back negative. After protests from the Polish Ski Association and Polish celebrities and politicians, the tournament’s organizers decided to allow the Polish team to participate if their coronavirus tests were negative. The negative tests were ultimately what allowed the Poles to participate and triumph in the competition.
Title image: Kamil Stoch celebrates on the shoulders of teammates Dawid Kubacki, left, and Piotr Żyła after his second round jump at the fourth stage of the 69th four hills ski jumping tournament in Bischofshofen, Austria, Jan. 6, 2021, AP.