Thomas Diethart has taken the overall Four Hills ski jumping title after winning the final event on home soil. It was a Cinderella story for the young Austrian, who was largely unknown just a few weeks ago.
The 21-year-old Diethart soared to jumps of 138.5 and 140 meters (454 and 459 feet) for 296.5 points to win the final event of this season's Four Hills Tour at Bischofshofen in his Austrian homeland on Monday.
Slovenia's Peter Prevc came in second with 294.8 points ahead of another Austrian, Thomas Morgenstern on 293.6.
Monday’s win at Bischofshofen also gave Diethart overall victory at the 62nd edition of the Tour, after having entered the final event at the top of the standings. That victory, with 1,012.6 points overall, made it a sixth-straight title for Austria at the Four Hills.
Morgenstern, the 2011 winner, came in second overall on 994.3 points,while Swiss four-time Olympic champion Simon Ammann finished third with 992.4.
"I am delighted. A childhood dream has come true ... It just goes to show how quickly things can happen in ski-jumping. The most important thing is to deliver mentally," said Diethart, who had won the New Year's Day event at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in a television interview shortly after the event.
"I had goosebumps. Hats off ... I knew he would keep his nerves in check," said Austria’s coach, Alexander Pointner.
Diethart had previously competed in the two Austrian Four Hills events in 2011, but had been been left out of the country’s World Cup line-up until the weekend before last Christmas, when he produced sixth- and fourth-place finishes in Engelberg, Switzerland.
With his performances at the Four Hills, Diethart, who was jumping in just his eighth career competition at World Cup level on Monday, has made himself one of the favorites to be named to the Austrian team for next month's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.