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Ski jumping: Tour feels “like a fresh start”

After a victory and two second places this season, Kraft is once again the greatest hope for a compact ÖSV team – and in excellent shape in good time: “I have never been able to tour with such great confidence as this year,” said Kraft to APA.

The fact that the overall World Cup runner-up fell at the final rehearsal before the season highlight did not postpone the ambitious goal. The resulting tension in the neck and the slight bruises on the hips and buttocks he tried to get under control with physiotherapy and massage units during the Christmas days.

Start for four hill tour

With the qualification in Oberstdorf, the 68th edition of the traditional four hill tour starts on Saturday.

“It tingles quite differently”

Shortly before the turn of the year, a new era begins for ski jumpers. “It doesn’t start from scratch, but the tour always feels like a fresh start,” said Kraft. The cult status of the four hill tour is also transferred to the athletes. “It tingles quite differently. When I see the hill again in Oberstdorf, I’m completely nervous. But from experience I know that I have always been able to handle it very well, ”he said before taking part in the tour for the seventh time.

A graphic shows the venues of the four-hill tour and details about the jumps

Graphic: APA / ORF.at; Source: APA

Kraft knows how to win the tour. “Yes, already,” said the winner of 2014/15, but then hesitated a long time. “If it were that easy, I would have won her three more times afterwards.” You probably have to ask Janne Ahonen about the recipe for success. Its five wins mean a record. Kraft also knows a few ingredients: “Organize yourself physically so that you are fully there until the end. I can definitely do that. Good self-confidence, stability, good team spirit, we have a lot of fun. Everything is there – but in the end a tour win just has to happen. ”

“The shape is right”

Nobody flew further than Kraft (1,823.5 m) this winter. His head trainer Andreas Felder still believes his flagship jumper can do strong flights and top rankings in series. “The Krafti is in a good mood, the shape is right,” said Felder. “He’s definitely in a good position.”

During the preparation, Kraft emulated defending champion Ryoyu Kobayashi and his “unique jumping style”. “I burned the edge of the ski and flying up and out, which makes it so strong, all summer long.” The short-term grip back to the old binding wasn’t a mistake. “In the beginning I was far from stable. But now I know my bond inside out. ”

Level in the jumping circus increased

The level in the diving circus has risen again in recent years. “But I didn’t feel like I had gotten better. Now. What we did in the summer is bearing fruit. ”A slightly different plan was worked out with the coaches. “I took a longer break and then started with full energy. It was not as difficult as the past few years. “

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