Germany aim to end ski championship drought

22nd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 February 2005, OBERSTDORF - Boosted by Rene Ackermann's individual title last week, Germany on Tuesday aim for their first gold in 18 years in the Nordic combined skiing team competition at the world championships. The 1987 title also came in Oberstdorf and the star of that team, Hermann Weinbuch, now coaches the class of 2005. "We definitely want to make the podium. We are good in jumping and skiing," said Weinbuch. Out to spoil the German show are the defending champions Austria and Olympic champions

22 February 2005

OBERSTDORF - Boosted by Rene Ackermann's individual title last week, Germany on Tuesday aim for their first gold in 18 years in the Nordic combined skiing team competition at the world championships.

The 1987 title also came in Oberstdorf and the star of that team, Hermann Weinbuch, now coaches the class of 2005.

"We definitely want to make the podium. We are good in jumping and skiing," said Weinbuch.

Out to spoil the German show are the defending champions Austria and Olympic champions Finland, with Norway also in the frame.

"A medal is always our aim in this event and of course we want to defend our title. But there are at least four medal contenders," said Austrian star Felix Gottwald, who sees Norway as a contender as well.

"I just hope that we won't end up being the fourth-placed team."

Finland look to rebound from the individual event, where the top favourite World Cup leader Hannu Manninen failed to medal after some bad luck in the ski-jumping portion.

The medals went instead to Ackermann, compatriot Bjoern Kircheisen and Gottwald, with the Germans now out for more.

"I will give it my very best. Everyone who knows me knows how ambitious I am," said Ackermann.

But he also warned: "There are four to five teams on a very high level. The Finns jump very well, Norway and Austria are just as strong as we are, and maybe even the United States can be a contender."

Weinbuch said that Friday's results had lifted team morale in a major way, with Ackermann and Kircheisen now out for more in the interest of the whole team.

"I feel that Ackermann and (Bjoern) Kircheisen are hot to lift their team-mates to the podium as well," said Weinbuch.

In the team event, each of the four team members has two ski-jumps from the large hill, with a 4x5-kilometres cross-country pursuit based on the jumping results then deciding the champion.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article