Germany’s Vinzenz Geiger rallies to claim normal hill gold
Prior to the start of the event, the men’s individual normal hill was heavily impacted by COVID-19. When the top contenders, Germany Eric Frenzel and Norway Jarl Magnus Ribertested positive and withdrawn from the event, new hope arose for Vinzenz Geiger of Germany. Geiger placed third in the World Cup standings and won gold in the men’s team event before heading to the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Geiger made a comeback after a difficult jump phase and crossed the line in a final time of 25:07.7 to win her first Olympic gold medal. His jump earned him 11th place after losing stability and control in the air. The start time of his cross-country phase was influenced by his jumping ranking and he started skiing one minute and 26 seconds later. Ryota Yamamoto from Japan.
Yamamoto quickly took the lead as he rose from the call table to first place. He jumped the longest distance out of 44 competitors, covering 108.0m and earning 133.0 points. The huge jump also set a new hill record. Yamamoto tried to hold on to his lead and started the cross-country stage strong, but slipped behind the pack and lost his lead midway through the race. He couldn’t follow Norway Joergen Graabak who took the money and Austria Lucas Greiderer who took bronze. Yamamoto finished in 14th place.
Geiger’s teammate Johannes Rydzek was mainly leading the race after passing Austria Johannes Lamparter. However, Rydzek’s lead came to an abrupt end on the final incline when he couldn’t maintain his pace and speed. Geiger pounced and rocketed from third to first, heading forward with Graabak.
The United States entered Stephane Schumann, Ben Loomis, Jared Shumate and Taylor Fletcher in the event. Loomis was Team USA’s top finisher in ski jumping and placed 17th with a jump distance of 94.5m. He started a minute and 50 seconds behind Yamamoto and jumped to 15th place overall.