Karl Geiger and Markus Eisenbichler flew into Olympic favorite roles in Titisee-Neustadt. Andreas Wellinger and Severin Freund are missing from the Beijing team.
While Karl Geiger and Markus Eisenbichler toasted their dream performance at the Titisee in the German team hotel, Andreas Wellinger’s Olympic dream burst in the Munich Corona quarantine. The gold jumper from 2014 and 2018 will miss the Beijing Winter Games after his infection, and the second Sochi hero Severin Freund will probably not be there either.
The Geiger/Eisenbichler duo, on the other hand, has golden prospects for the Olympics: Geiger triumphed in both competitions at the home World Cup in Titisee-Neustadt and, with the double victory, regained the lead in the overall World Cup from Japan’s tour winner Ryoyu Kobayashi. “It was awesome, I’ll take that feeling with me now. I’m really looking forward to the Olympics,” said ski flying world champion Geiger: “We really found a good recipe with the trainers.”
The same applies to Eisenbichler. The 30-year-old, who was completely at a loss just before Christmas and in a low form, jumped to third place behind his buddy Geiger, who was two years his junior, and Anze Lanisek from Slovenia – and is now a very big candidate for a medal again for the Olympics (4th to 20th February).
Eisenbichler: “Let’s stay relaxed for now”
“I’m really happy. With the competition and in general,” said the six-time world champion, who does not yet have an Olympic medal – he was a substitute for team silver in 2018. “Let’s stay relaxed now, we still have a World Cup weekend in Willingen,” said Eisenbichler, who didn’t want to think about Beijing just yet.
National coach Stefan Horngacher thought almost exclusively of Beijing on Saturday evening. At his home in Neustadt, he racked his brains about who should get the last two Olympic tickets after Geiger, Eisenbichler and Stephan Leyhe (good eighth on Saturday). The decision for Constantin Schmid, who was also convincing at Titisee and came ninth on Saturday, was made quickly. The fact that the weakening Pius Paschke, who missed the second round on both days, is there is the result of insurmountable hurdles at Wellinger and Freund.
“Andi was problematic to see due to his corona infection after consultation with the doctors, because we don’t necessarily want to bring someone into the team with an increased CT value,” said Horngacher: “He could also have to be in quarantine in China, this risk we don’t want to go in.”
“It really sucked”
Wellinger, who had just returned to the team after knee problems, tested positive on Friday, his CT value was just below the usual limit of 30 in Germany. The lower the CT value, the higher the viral load in the body is usually. In Beijing, however, the limit is 40.
“It went really shitty,” said Wellinger, who was informed on Saturday evening. After 2014 (team) and 2018 (normal hill), the 26-year-old could have been the first ski jumper to win gold at three Winter Games.
Freund, on the other hand, missed the second top 15 place required for the DOSB standard. The 33-year-old took it easy: “Of course the Olympics would have been super cool, but then there’s the Ski Flying World Championships in Vikersund, which is a little higher for me.”
However, Wellinger and Freund still have a chance. “Both remain on call,” said Horngacher: “We never know exactly what will happen. If one of the others becomes infected, then one of the two will be nominated.”