Norway seal gold with epic performance in men’s team ski jumping
Robert Johansson landed a spectacular final leap to secure victory for Norway in the men's ski jumping large hill team event at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre on Monday 19 February.
The Norwegians scored 1,098.5 points in total. They had been dominant throughout as they won a second ski jumping gold of PyeongChang 2018 following Maren Lundby's victory in the women's normal hill individual. Germany finished 22.8 points behind to take silver.
Kamil Stoch, who took his overall tally of Olympic golds to three when he completed a successful defence of his men's individual large hill title a few days earlier, matched Wellinger's distance, to help Poland claim the bronze with 1,072 points, just three points behind Germany.
Johansson was delighted with his team's performance, admitting that they had to overcome collective nerves in order to hold onto their lead.
"We were a bit nervous today, I think, so it's fantastic to perform like we did," reflected the 27-year-old.
I really like the team competitions. I think we're really good friends, travelling a lot of days during the year together.Robert Johansson Norway
Smells like team spirit
Germany's Richard Freitag acknowledged that the Norwegian quartet had been the strongest throughout the competition and hailed his own team's silver medal as just reward for a fine collective effort.
"It's a pretty good symbol for our team support," he said. "It's not only the four of us, it's a lot more athletes and especially the whole team behind the team. It's a good thing for everybody."
Poland have enjoyed an exceptional record in the individual ski jumping competitions recently, thanks largely to Stoch, and they are the reigning world champions in the large hill team event, but their bronze represented a first ever team medal on the Olympic stage. And Stoch's team-mate Maciej Kot said that this was an achievement to relish.
"This is an historic moment for all our team and all our country because it's the first team competition medal in ski jumping [for Poland]," said the 26-year-old.
"This competition was on a really high level and it was so close after the first round, so close between us and Germany. We were fighting to the end and I think it was a really nice competition to watch for all the spectators."