Ski Jumping: Strength with success to record

Stephen Croft holds the single record for the most World Cup podium finishes in ski jumping history.

With Jakobane's win, high-flyer Stephen Croft holds the single record for most World Cup podium finishes in ski jumping history. Salzburg's overall World Cup leader celebrated his seventh victory in Poland on Sunday, finishing ahead of German Andreas Wellinger and Slovenian Anse Lanicek and ahead of Finnish Jan Ahonen for the 109th individual podium. The ÖSV Eagles also won the newly formed Polish Tour.

“Heard a lot now, 109. I wasn't completely relaxed, I was a bit nervous. Topping this list is something really special, something beautiful. It's crazy to collect so many platforms in a row over the years. I'm a little speechless,” Croft said in an ORF interview after his 37th World Cup victory. The 30-year-old overtook previous record holder Ahonen (108) with his eleventh podium finish in his 14th race of the season.

Michael Hayböck in fourth, Bergisel winner Jan Hörl in sixth and Manuel Fettner in seventh rounded out the best group result for the red-white-red jumpers. 18-year-old Stephane Embacher again tested his mettle in his third World Cup competition with 13th place, his best finish yet. This gave ÖSV head coach Andreas Widhölzl's supporters plenty of confidence heading into the Ski Flying World Championships in Kulm, Styria from Friday. “Hopefully things will go well there as well. That's what I want to do the most,” insisted Kraft, the current world record holder with 253.5 metres.

Austria won the overall ranking of the “Polski Tour” after the Wisla and Jakoban competitions with a 9.9 point lead over Slovenia. Jumping in Szczyrk was canceled on Wednesday due to strong winds.

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In Zakopane, Kraft landed at 137 m in the first round and jumped three meters lower than Hörl. However, due to the poor tailwind conditions, Pongauer scored more wind points, giving him a half-time lead over his compatriot. Meanwhile, Clemens Aigner missed his first jump and, in 42nd place, missed out on a top-30 finish. There, Kraft held his nerve and looked confident, jumping 134m higher than Wellinger (-4.5 points). and Lanicek (-5, 0). Hörl jumped 133 m and missed the podium.

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