Althaus wins gold in ski jumping
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Katharina Althaus won gold in ski jumping from the normal hill at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Planica. For the German Ski Association, it was the first medal of the title fights in Slovenia.
“This is sensational, she kept her nerve and pulled it off. Hats off,” said national coach Maximilian Mechler on ZDF: “We wouldn’t have dreamed of that.”
Althaus won with 249.1 points just ahead of Eva Pinkelig from Austria (246.9 points) and Anna Odine Ström from Norway (246 points). The Norwegian had still been in first place after the first round, jumped after 100 meters in the first round, but in the second round only to 95 meters.
For Althaus, it is the first gold medal at a World Cup. At the 2019 World Championships in Seefeld, she won silver. Althaus is the second German world champion in history before her Carina Vogt won gold in 2015 and 2017.
Debutant Freitag finishes fourth
World Cup debutant Selina Freitag shone in fourth place, and Anna Rupprecht (Degenfeld) and Luisa Görlich (Lauscha) rounded off the strong German result in ninth and 15th place.
The hosts experienced a disappointment: defending champion Ema Klinec finished only 19th, best Slovenian was Olympic bronze medallist Nika Kriznar on rank eleven. Olympic champion Ursa Bogataj did not even compete due to a torn cruciate ligament.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Sara Takanashi continued her streak of bad luck at major events with a 20th-place finish. The Asian holds a lonely record with 63 victories in the World Cup but always had to leave the big titles to the competition.
Panama, Nigeria, Lebanon: Cross-country outsiders open World Championships
With the traditional qualification races of the “small” cross-country skiing nations, the competitions of the 54th Nordic World Ski Championships started on Wednesday in Planica, Slovenia. In the process, blatant outsiders from winter sports developing countries such as 53-year-old Ricardo Jay Lung from Panama, Nigerian Samuel Uduigowme Ikpefan, or Indian Bhavani Thekkada Nanjunda competed.
In total, 38 women and 69 men fought for a place in the freestyle eliminations next Tuesday and Wednesday. Jaqueline Mourao (Brazil) was the fastest in the women’s 5km freestyle in 14:42.0 minutes, with last-place finisher Sasha Geagea (Lebanon) nearly 18 minutes slower. The men’s 10 km race was won by Albert Jonsson of Iceland in 27:47.1 minutes, with Tarik Aslan of Serbia in 69th place more than 18 minutes behind.
Planica is hosting the title bouts for the first time. Until March 5, 24 decisions with athletes from over 60 nations are scheduled in the valley in northwestern Slovenia.