Olympia: Karl Geiger and Markus Eisenbichler experience a sobering crash landing

Like plucked Peking ducks, the proudly started DSV eagles stood at the end of the Olympic hill and held a council of war in the bitter cold and in an icy mood: 15th place instead of gold for Karl Geiger, miserable end in the first round instead of a medal for Markus Eisenbichler – the crash landing of the German ski jumper in the first decision of the Winter Games was brutal.

“It was like there was a magnet in the slope,” said the violinist, who traveled to China as World Cup leader, describing his sobering jumps from the Zhangjiakou normal hill, where his big rival Ryoyu Kobayashi from Japan flew to Olympic victory on Sunday. With Eisenbichler, at least the dialect still worked in the usual first-class manner: “If you notice that nothing is carrying you, then just foisd hoid oba wia a wet sack.”

24 hours after Katharina Althaus’s silver coup, none of the male hill colleagues even made it into the top 10 of the first Olympic decision. Youngster Constantin Schmid could at least be satisfied with eleventh place. Especially Geiger and Eisenbichler (31st), but also Stephan Leyhe (24th) jumped far below their personal minimum level.

Geiger: “It just didn’t grab me”

“The motivation was there, the will was there. I put everything on one card, hammered through with full determination and hoped that it would work. Last year at the home World Cup it worked – not this time,” said Geiger. On the small hill, which he actually loved, the 28-year-old violinist never found his usual flight mode: “It just didn’t grab me.”

While the Four Hills Tournament winner Kobayashi celebrated his next coup alongside the surprise medalists Manuel Fettner (Austria/silver) and Dawid Kubacki (Poland/bronze), national coach Stefan Horngacher drew a bitter conclusion. “Unfortunately, it was foreseeable, a miracle should have happened. We didn’t get along with the hill that well,” said Horngacher. Geiger also puzzled: “We don’t know why, that’s the bitter thing. We just didn’t get going.”

The man from Oberstdorf doesn’t have much time to think. Already on Monday (11:45 a.m. CET/ZDF and Eurosport) in the mixed team competition, he wants to jump forward alongside Schmid and Althaus, who received her silver medal during the men’s competition at the Medal Plaza in Zhangjiakou, and Selina Freitag . The DSV team was world champion in this discipline four times in a row.

Kobayashi wins confidently

In a competition that was heavily influenced by wind, especially in the first round, Kobayashi won with jumps of 104.5 and 99.5 m in front of 36-year-old Fettner, who had never come close to a major individual medal before. The third-placed Kubacki was world champion on the normal hill in 2019, but the Pole hadn’t succeeded at all in the Olympic winter before.

Geiger gambled away all medal chances in the first round on Sunday – 96.0 m was only enough for 21st place. With his best jump so far in Beijing at 99.0 m, the co-favorite said goodbye to the competition at least forgivingly: “At least that one makes me optimistic. “


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