It’s always the same, you don’t see a record breaker in three or four years then two of them come along all at once
Standing at the top of a ski jump slope the height is truly shocking, television simply does not do the altitude, angle and distance justice. Personally being vertically challenged (or “a shortarse” as it’s more commonly known) I’ve never had much truck with height, something alien and wrong about the reality that the logical framework of the concept does nothing to diminish. It is a fear I’ve attempted to face and overcome with absolutely no success whatsoever, and quite a lot of vomiting.
World Record Broken Twice
• Peter Prevc beats record by 3.5m
• Anders Fannemel beats Prevc by 1.5m
• Severin Freund wins despite record breakers
The bungee jump was, looking back, a mistake, my abiding memory not one of the exhilarating rush of adrenaline as the ground jumped up at my face like a mugger on angel-dust, or of the sudden relief of being saved from turning into a piece of performance art called Pizza Of Nich, but of the face of the safety hunk in the gondola, whose expression during the entire ascent suspended from the crane they were using was one of pity and outright amusement at my evident wholesale terror. I even asked if I could jump feet first.
Standing at the top of a ski jump slope makes the bungee crane’s fifty meter extension above a pop festival look somewhat pathetic, and clutching the handrail I hurried away from what I still consider merely an interesting method of attempting to break your own neck in front of an audience whilst wearing lycra and carbon fibre. Of course this is a personal impression that is entirely countered by it being a fabulously watchable sport on television. With modern camera angles they might not do the sheer scale justice, but they do the speed and artistry perfectly well.
With the Nordic Skiing World Championships kicking off in Falun this week all eyes were on the hill at Vikersund, Norway, as the cream of the Ski jump sport came together in the World Cup event gambling news of a win here could take them into Falun with some momentum behind them, and there was no shortage of that as the competition saw some of the best jumps ever made, and threw predictions for the World Championships back on the desktop for reassessment, it was quite the warm up that means the competition in Falun will be red hot.
Longest Leaps Since 2011
The FIS Ski Flying World Cup event at Vikersund was well attended by massive crowds of enthusiasts and fans as the excitement of the World Championships bubbles over around the entire Nordic sports community, and the competition didn’t disappoint getting off to an eyebrow raising start with one competitor coming just half a meter short of the world record in qualifying. That was generally put down to the ideal conditions but it left a hunger amongst the top flight to see who could come closest to and perhaps exceed the record that stood since 2011.
It was Norway’s Johan Remen Evensen who had set that distance, some 246.5 meters, on the same hill four years ago, snatching it back from the first non-Scandinavian to have clasped the title, Austria’s Andreas Goldbreger, who gained it in 2000. That was almost instantly in danger and as the jumps went on the conditions did seem to lend themselves to some awesomely massive jumps, and the competitors knew that putting their all into this superb opportunity.
It was Slovenia’s Peter Prevc who did it, the young man with 38 on his sponsored chest, sailing majestically a jaw-dropping 250m clearing the previous record by an almost comical 3.5m leaving people stunned and his team ecstatic. “The speed and position was perfect.” He told the press happily after setting the new world record, “It’s always great to jump far. This win today and the world record is my biggest success so far.” Then, somewhat unfortunately, he said words that now must haunt him.
“Right now it’s hard to describe my feelings, it will probably take a few days.”
Perhaps a little sadly the 22 year old Prevc wasn’t destined to get those few days with which to get to emotional grip with being the world record holder, because the very next day the competitor who had come so close to the old record during qualification, Anders Fannemel, appeared to be a Norwegian gambling laws of gravity simply didn’t apply to him and flew an absolutely astounding 251.5m smashing the new record by a meter and a half. For a sport with results often separated by centimeters this was unheard of. It had been barely 24 hours and already Prevc had lost his crown, a disappointment it might take more than a few days for him to get over.
A Day Is A Long Time In Ski Jumping
Not that Prevc has time as now he, Fannemel and the World Cup event winner Severin Freund, along with the rest of the ski jump jamboree, move onto Falun where conditions are likely to be just as good as they were in Vikersund. There are two hills at the Nordic Skiing World Championships in Falun in 2015, the HS100 and HS134, and with the world record beaten twice in as many days just down the road there’s likely to be fierce competition not only for the medals but another record.
According to Come On! Sportsbook Severin Freund, gold medalist in Sochi, goes into the competition firm favorite in terms of odds on both hills, although having seen those further down the field break world records can’t have done much for his confidence, and indeed might just add a little pressure upon him to follow suit, and perhaps his 2.80 is just a little optimistic in light of recent events, and Peter Prevc on 7.50 is well worth a punt for those of you that like to bet on sports in Norway.
The new world record holder said after his mammoth leap, “The conditions were perfect for long flights and I made the best jump of my life.” However his successive jumps were less impressive and his final jump of 202m was only enough to secure him second place, with Prevc only managing a paltry 110m in his to come what must be an absolutely gutting 16th place. Top of the world to bottom of the heap, what a weekend for the poor Slovenian. Fannemel goes into Falun on 7.75 which, given his form might not be too bad a bet either.
In the team event Norway are placed third on 4.30 just ahead of Slovenia’s 5.80 but behind the always strong Austrians at 3.40 and the likely to dominate Germans on a rather matter-of-fact 2.55, but whilst these medals will be furiously chased there’s just a chance that the ski jump competition at the Falun Nordic Skiing World Championships in 2015 will see far more drama for the individuals than in the group effort of the team sport.