WRAP: Poland's Stoch dominates Ski Jumping with two golds
24 February 2014
SKI JUMPING: Germany's Carina Vogt wrote herself into the history books by winning the sport's first women's Olympic gold medal, but Ski Jumping at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games belonged to Kamil Stoch (POL).
Stoch became the third ski jumper to win both men's individual events by triumphing on the K-95 normal hill and K-125 large hill at RusSki Gorki Jumping Centre.
On the morning of the normal hill competition on 9 February, Stoch woke up with a headache, a stomach ache and a high temperature. But he recovered in time to dominate the competition with the two longest and highest scoring jumps of the night.
Peter Prevc (SLO) took silver and Anders Bardal (NOR) won bronze to give the podium a trio of jumpers who had all just won their first individual Olympic medals.
Six days later, and three days after a large hill training crash left him with a bleeding nose, Stoch won the large hill competition to complete the individual double, joining Matti Nykaenen (FIN, 1988) and Simon Ammann (SUI, 2002 and 2010) as the only men to have done it at an Olympic Winter Games.
Stoch did not have it all his own way on the large hill, however, as 41-year-old Noriaki Kasai (JPN) almost snatched the gold. As the penultimate jumper in the final round, Kasai took the lead and waited nervously in the landing area to learn his fate.
Jumping last as the first-round leader, Stoch produced only the fourth best jump of the final round, but it was just enough to give him victory over Kasai by 1.3 points. In winning his second gold, Stoch became Poland's first multiple Olympic gold medallist in Ski Jumping.
Prevc won bronze to claim his own slice of history by becoming the first man competing for Slovenia to win two medals in any sport at a single Olympic Winter Games.
While the men's individual events belonged to Stoch, Germany triumphed in the other two competitions to win two Ski Jumping gold medals at one Olympic Winter Games for the second time and first since 1994.
In the men's team event, Germany ended Austria's decade of team dominance by winning its first men's Ski Jumping gold medal since 2002, also in the team event.
Austria won silver and Japan took the bronze, allowing Kasai to join Stoch and Prevc as the three men with two Ski Jumping medals at Sochi 2014.
In the only women's event, Vogt upstaged favourite Sara Takanashi (JPN) on the normal hill to become the first woman to win an Olympic Ski Jumping gold medal, with Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT) winning silver and Coline Mattel (FRA) claiming bronze.
Vogt, 22, shook off the bridesmaid tag by winning her first major international event. She had previously made nine world cup podiums without a victory.
The German took the lead after the first round and held on to win gold even though her final round jump was only the fifth best of the round. Iraschko-Stolz took the opposite approach by coming from fifth after the first round to record the best jump of the final round and almost snatch gold.
Takanashi, the 17-year-old sensation who has dominated the World Cup tour this season with 10 victories in 13 events, finished fourth.
Australia did not have any athletes competing in the Sky Jumping competition at Sochi 2014.