The Pole Kamil Stoch won the Four Hills Tournament title for the third time with a superior victory in Bischofshofen. The Olympic champion won the final on Wednesday in front of the Norwegian Marius Lindvik, the German Karl Geiger and Stefan Kraft.
At the age of 33, Stoch set another milestone in his successful career. The three-time Olympic champion, ex-world champion and two-time overall World Cup winner is now a three-time tour champion. Only the Finn Janne Ahonen with his five triumphs and Germany’s Jens Weißflog (4) have won the tour more often than Stoch, who is now on a par with the two three-time winners Björn Wirkola (NOR) and Helmut Recknagel (GDR).
But Stoch wasn’t always on top either. After an ankle operation in 2015, as a double Olympic champion at the time, he fought for a long time to return to the top. He only succeeded in doing this under the Tyrolean head coach Stefan Horngacher, who now coaches Team Germany. And because of his almost morbid ambition, which coach like Horngacher likes to translate as “meticulous work”.
Stoch calls his private life the basis for his success. When he is out and about in the World Cup, he calls his wife and manager Ewa, with whom he has been married since 2010, several times a day. “That grounds me,” emphasized the high-flyer. “I am successful in sport, but the greatest success of my life is my personal happiness.” Such sentences are, as it were, a reason for its popularity in ski-jumping Poland.
Grand Slam 2018
At the age of nine, little Kamil jumped from a hill for the first time, at twelve he had already sailed 128 meters and at 17 he made his debut in the World Cup. It is not known whether he was the avowed Catholic and fan of Liverpool FC that he is today, but his persistence in victory from now on: In the past decade he celebrated at least one victory in every single year. In 2018 he was the second jumper in history to achieve the feat of a Grand Slam with four victories in a row on all four touring hills. “Air is my second being,” says Stoch, expressing what many think of him.
In this special 69th edition, which was held without a spectator due to the coronavirus pandemic and therefore had to forego its very special flair, Stoch also benefited from a turnaround that some as a political issue, some as a fair gesture and basically also as a happy one Coincidence is to be designated. Because the assembled Polish team around Stoch had already been locked out of the tour at the first competition in Oberstdorf because of a positive corona test. After two series of negative tests by all those involved, however, they were brought back and Stoch took the second chance, as only champions do. (apa)