Stoch captures Four Hills title for third time

Bischofshofen (Austria) (AFP) –


Poland's Kamil Stoch captured the prestigious Four Hills ski jump title for the third time on Wednesday with victory in the final leg at Bischofshofen in Austria.

The 33-year-old Stoch had previously won the traditional four-leg New Year event in 2017 and 2018.

He joins Norway's Bjorn Wirkola and Helmut Recknagel of Germany as a three-time winner of the Four Hills.

Germany's Jens Weissflog, with four titles, and five-time champion Janne Ahonen of Finland head the overall roll of honour.

Olympic champion Stoch finished the tournament with 1110.6 points ahead of Germany's Karl Geiger (1062.5) and fellow Pole Dawid Kubacki (1057.8), the defending Four Hills champion, in the standings.

He claimed victory in Innsbruck last Sunday having finished second and fourth in the opening two stages, in Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany.

It was a victory to savour for Stoch.

The coronavirus pandemic almost prevented Stoch, a three-time Olympic gold medallist and double World Cup winner, as well as the rest of the Polish team from taking part.

Polish jumper Klemens Muranka had failed a Covid-19 test and the whole team was originally barred before they were tested again at Oberstdorf.

The results were negative and the original result was declared a "false positive".

Stoch led the overall standings going into Wednesday's final leg before he claimed victory with 300.7 points.

Norway's Marius Lindvik (280.4) and Geiger (277,3) rounded out the podium.

Final Four Hills standings:

1. Kamil Stoch (POL) 1110.6 points, 2. Karl Geiger (GER) 1062.5, 3. Dawid Kubacki (POL) 1057.8, 4. Halvor Egner Granerud (NOR) 1057.4, 5. Piotr Zyla (POL) 1037.2