STA, 25 March - Slovenian ski jumpers swept the podium in the first individual event of the World Cup season finale on Friday, as Žiga Jelar won the event ahead of Peter Prevc and Anže Lanišek. And this is not all - Slovenia's Timi Zajc was fourth to round off the complete domination of the home team in front of the capacity crowd at Planica.
Jelar, who also had the longest jump of the event, at 239 metres in the second run, scored 468.2 points for his first career World Cup win and his third podium finish, followed by Prevc (464.8 points), Lanišek (458.5) and Zajc (454.8).
The 24-year-old also took over the overall lead in the ski flying standings, with a 20-point advantage ahead of Zajc and a 30-point advantage ahead of the world record holder, Stefan Kraft of Austria, who was 6th today (450.3 points).
Four other Slovenians made it to the second run featuring the top 30 jumpers in the first run, with Domen Prevc being the best among them with 443.5 points and the 7th place.
The last time that the first four competitors at a Ski Jumping World Cup even were from the same country happened on 20 January 1980, when Austrians took the first for spots in Thunder Bay.
"What can I say? I proved to everyone that I really am a fighter. After various comments that I was looking for excuses ... here I stand in Planica. Exceptional, really," Jelar told the national broadcaster TV Slovenija.
The win for Jelar comes after a very difficult season, in which he had a long recovery from severe symptoms of Covid-19, and in which he failed to make it to the Slovenian team for the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The World Cup season finale at Planica will continue on Saturday with a team event and conclude on Sunday with an individual event featuring the top 30 jumpers in the overall standings.
* Results of the Ski Jumping World Cup event at Planica: 1 Žiga Jelar (SLO) 468.2 points (232.0 m/239.0) 2 Peter Prevc (SLO) 464.8 (226.0/237.0) 3 Anže Lanišek (SLO) 458.5 (230.0/230.5) 4 Timi Zajc (SLO) 454.8 (228.0/224.0) 5 Ryoyu Kobayashi (JAP) 452.8 (223.5/237.0) 6 Stefan Kraft (AUT) 450.3 (222.0/228.5) 7 Domen Prevc (SLO) 443.5 (234.5/220.0) 8 Yukiya Sato (JAP) 442.9 (231.5/238.5) 9 Halvor Egner Granerud (NOR) 442.2 (229.5/234.5) 10 Manuel Fettner (AUT) 441.8 (227.0/231.0) ... 16 Anže Semenič (SLO) 429.4 (219.0/231.0) 22 Bor Pavlovčič (SLO) 416.7 (221.5/210.0) 27 Lovro Kos (SLO) 407.1 (215.0/227.5) 29 Cene Prevc (Slo) 388.6 (214.5/219.0) ... * Overall standings (27/28): 1 Ryoyu Kobayashi (JAP) 1,589 points 2 Karl Geiger (GER) 1,500 3 Halvor Egner Granerud (NOR) 1,205 4 Marius Lindvik (NOR) 1,131 5 Stefan Kraft (AUT) 1,045 6 Markus Eisenbichler (GER) 943 7 Anže Lanišek (SLO) 891 8 Timi Zajc (SLO) 661 9 Jan Hörl (AUT) 652 10 Cene Prevc (SLO) 621