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The Championships in Liberec have come to a close; the whole world speaks highly of them

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The Austrian team reigned in the team competition, the Czech team finished in an excellent fifth place

28. 02 2009 19:05:00

(Liberec, own) A huge drama took place on the large hill in Jested during the last event of the ski jumping part of the Championships. The Austrians took the reins in the team competition from the first jump and the Norwegian quartet gradually strengthened its position. But four teams fought for the fourth place until the last moment. It was the Japanese team to rejoice about the third place in the end. The Czech team finished in an excellent 5th place.
The team event on the large hill was a real culmination of the ski jumping part of the World Championships in Liberec. Following yesterday´s one-round contest weather was favourable to jumpers and spectators on the tribunes could witness an excellent event.
There was no doubting about the victory for the Austrian team. After Wolfgang Loitzl´s first jump when he flew 131 m the Austrian team was in the lead and nobody managed to get ahead of them. Following the last jump of the first round the Norwegian team gained the second position thanks to Anders Jacobsen and they didn´t  let go of it. The Norwegian team was thus able to defend its place from the last Championships. The Japanese team won the battle over the third place and thanks to this it has the same composition of the medal place like in Saporro two years ago.
The Czech ski jumpers fought till the last jump over the silver medals together with teams from Japan, Poland and Finland. However, the team consisting of Lukas Hlava, Ondrej Vaculik, Jakub Janda and Roman Koudelka didn´t reach the medal position and finished in the fifth place. Even so the performance of our ski jumpers was a great ending to the Championships in Liberec and a nice way of thanking the spectators who had been attendeding the Men´s jumping events in great numbers.
Our team entered the last jump from a fifth position but Roman Koudelka didn´t confirm his excellent form from the individual event and the hopes of the Czech team for a medal faded after his jump of 118.5 m. It was even worse for the Finnish team who were in the fourth place before the last round of the final. Harri Olli flew weak 108.5 m and ski jumpers from the country of thousand lakes had to do with their overall sixth place.
The winning Austrian team consisting of Wolfgang Loitzl, Martin Koch, Thomas Morgenstern and Gregor Schlierenzauer rejoiced over their victory in the team event for the third time in a row. The last time they left the event defeated was in Val di Fiemme in 2003 when the Finnish team had won. Since then the Austrian team has held a string of four victories when they even managed to gain two victories at the World Championships in Oberstdorf in 2005 where the team event took place both on medium and large hills.
The competition was a great disappointment for Germany. The quartet Neumayer, Hocke, Uhrmann and Schmitt were in the tenth place after the first round and they missed the final by two positions. The German misery was underlined by the last jump of the silver medallist of yesterday´s individual event Martin Schmitt who flew only 112.5 m and thus deprived the winner of team events from 1999 and 2001 of advancement.
The Championships in Liberec also said goodbye to ski jumpers after Nordic combined contestants today. Only the last event remains on the schedule – 50 km Men.
Results: Team event on HS 134 Hill
1. Austria 1034.3 points (Loitzl 131+136m, Koch 121+134m, Morgenstern 123+123m, Schlierenzauer 127.5+123m) 2. Norway 1000.8p. (Bardal 128+135m, Hilde 122+129m, Evensen 118.5+, Jacobsen 126.5) 3. Japan  981.2p. (Tochimoto 123.5+127m, Okabe 127+135m, Ito 118.5+123,5m, Kasai (122+120m) 4. Poland 972.1p. 5. Czech Republic 963.3p. (Hlava 120+125m, Vaculik 118.5+123.5m, Janda 125.5+129m, Koudelka 124+118.5m) 6. Finland 947.5p. 7. Slovenia 914.6p. 8. Francie 874.5p
(do; transl. mc)

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