Germany’s Severin Freund wins first leg of 4 Hills Tour
OBERSTDORF, Germany (AP) Severin Freund became the first German winner on the ski jumping Four Hills Tour in 13 years when his big jump in the second heat gave him the opening leg on Tuesday.
Lagging fifth after the first heat, Freund soared 137.5 meters in his second effort.
Freund had a jump of 126 meters in the first heat but mastered difficult wind conditions in the second to win ahead of Michael Hayboeck of Austria.
''It was a very good second jump. The wind conditions were changing constantly,'' Freund said after his 21st win on the World Cup circuit. ''But this is just the beginning.''
Overall World Cup leader Peter Prevc's run of three consecutive wins ended as the Slovenian finished third.
Anders Fannemel of Norway was fourth, ahead of the 43-year-old Japanese jumper Noriaki Kasai. Kenneth Gangnes of Norway was sixth, and last year's Four Hills winner, Stefan Kraft of Austria, was seventh.
Hayboeck, who was runner-up in the competition last season, had the longest jump of the day at 139 meters in the second heat, after an effort of 130 in the first.
But the lengths were not decisive, as wind conditions and style were also factored in, and Freund finished with a higher points total of 307.2. Hayboeck had 304.2.
Prevc led after the first heat with a jump of 129.5 meters but had to settle for the third-best points total of 299.9 after an effort of 130 meters in the second.
The second leg of the tour is on Friday in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.