Austria’s Thomas Morgenstern is crowned king of the hill in Innsbruck, at the third stage of the Four Hills ski jumping tournament. The win leaves him in the lead of the overall standings, with one stage to go.
Morgenstern soared to victory
A home crowd of 22,000 spectators cheered on Austrian Thomas Morgenstern to win his second title of the 2010/2011 Four Hills tournament in Innsbruck in Austria.
The 24-year-old won the third stage with 266.5 points, beating Poland's veteran jumper Adam Malysz into second on 255.1 points.
Morgenstern leapt to 129.5 meters on his first attempt, followed by 126.5 meters, wowing the predominantly Austrian crowd at the Bergisel stadium.
The home fans had much to celebrate in Innsbruck
At the medal ceremony, Morgenstern said the crowd played a big part in his recovery from his poor performance at Garmisch-Partenkirchen on New Year's Day. “I have just one word – Danke!” he told the spectators.
The victory is Morgenstern's second of the four-event tournament - after his December 29 win in Oberstdorf - and leaves him top of the overall rankings with just one event remaining.
Norwegian Tom Hilde took bronze with 255.1 points, pushing Switzerland's Simon Ammann into fourth on 252.7 points. Four-times Olympic champion Ammann was the winner of the second stage at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Uhrmann wins performance prize
As the Four Hills takes place half in Germany and half in Austria, the event has been known to highlight a sporting rivalry between the two neighbors. Yet going into this year's tournament, the Austrian team were overwhelmingly the favorites, with German coach Werner Schuster saying that he just hopes at least one of the German jumpers can make it into the top ten.
Reassuringly for Schuster, at Innsbruck, 32-year-old Michael Uhrmann from the German team was awarded the ‘Man of the Day' award for his jumps. Uhrmann finished 8th (with 242.4 points) and 19-year-old teammate Pascal Bodmer placed 10th (with 241.0 points).
The Four Hills finale is on Thursday in Bischofshofen, with Morgenstern poised to take the title with a lead of 27.3 points ahead of nearest rival Ammann.
Author: Catherine Bolsover, Innsbruck
Editor: Nicole Goebel