Stoch completes Four Hills clean sweep - Taipei Times
Mon, Jan 08, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Stoch completes Four Hills clean sweep

AFP, BISCHOFSHOFEN, Austria

Kamil Stoch, bottom, celebrates with teammates on Saturday after winning the fourth stage of the Four Hills Tournament in Bischofshofen, Austria.

Photo: EPA

Poland’s Kamil Stoch on Saturday became the second man in history to complete a Four Hills clean sweep when he triumphed on the prestigious event’s final leg at Bischofshofen in Austria.

Germany’s Sven Hannawald was the only jumper to have previously achieved the feat during the 2001-2002 season.

Stoch won with leaps of 132.5m and 137m ahead of Norway’s Anders Fannemel (130m and 139m) and Germany’s Andreas Wellinger (129m and 139.5m).

“I was under a lot of pressure; we are not machines, we are humans,” said 30-year-old Stoch, who also won the Four Hills last year and will be favorite to defend his two titles at the Winter Olympics next month.

Hannawald was among the first to congratulate Stoch.

“Welcome to the exclusive club,” Hannawald said. “Before I could only to talk to myself, but now I can talk to you!”

In the overall Four Hills standings, Wellinger finished in second place, while Fannemel was third.

Stoch, who started ski jumping at nine, stunned the sport when he flew 128m at the age of 12.

His progress in the professional ranks stalled for two seasons after he underwent ankle surgery in 2014.

Stoch attributed his rejuvenation this year to the arrival of new Polish national coach Stefan Horngacher, an Austrian.

“We now have an excellent team spirit, each athlete believes in him,” Stoch said. “Stefan has changed some small things in my momentum and training, but it is especially the psychological approach that is different with him.”

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