Jenny Rautionaho and Julia Kykkänen jump on Salpausellä, hidden from the eyes of the general public.
The Friday evening of the Salpausselkä Games, held in Lahti on the first weekend of March, was supposed to be the event for the women who did well in the Ski Jumping World Cup Jenny Rautionahon and Julia Kykkänen screen slot in front of the home crowd.
Due to the twists and turns of the last few weeks, Rautionaho and Kykkänen will finally jump on Salpauselka hidden from the eyes of the general public.
The series of events was started by a capricious wind. The men’s World Cup competition held in Szczyrk, Poland in January had to be suspended and moved elsewhere. The only alternatives were Willingen and Lahti, of which FIS ended up with the latter.
The men’s extra race is jumped on Friday evening, so the women had to withdraw from the parade ground until Friday morning.
– Sad thing for women. They would have deserved the opportunity to jump in the evening competition, the head coach of the Finnish women’s national team Ossi-Pekka Valta saddens.
– Obviously, television contracts weigh in the background. Men go ahead in them. The television broadcasts determine the times for the races. Here you can see the difference between men and women.
In January, Jenny Rautionaho reached the top three in the World Cup for the first time in her career and was a wonderful second in Sapporo. Rautionaho’s performance can be seen in the video below.
Salpauselkä competition manager Tami Kiuru confirms that television is heavy in the background.
– When we received a request from FIS, whether we can organize an additional men’s hill race, the process started, Kiuru says.
– In the background, FIS and Infront looked at the time windows and opportunities found on TV. From that, the change in the program began to take shape.
Hill jumping is a very popular television sport in Central Europe, so the men’s competition can be seen, for example, by Austrian and German television viewers during prime time in the early evening. Women’s ski jumping competitions do not attract the same number of spectators as men’s.
Kiuru is pleased that Salpausellä got more program in the form of an extra men’s ski jumping competition, but also regrets the postponement of the women’s competition to the morning.
– An unfortunate change for them. Interest has increased all the time with the results of our female jumpers, says the six-time ski jumping medalist.
– We got more content for the Salpausselkä Games and full coverage for Friday, when there is cross-country skiing during the day.
“It has not been spoken”
STT asked the FIS ski jumping competition director From Sandro Pertilewhy men can’t jump on Friday morning.
– Due to logistical reasons. The women’s competition must be jumped before the men’s program begins. The teams use the same lubrication and dressing room facilities, Pertile opens.
The premises must be empty when the men start preparing for the jumping qualification on Friday afternoon.
Has the head coach of the women’s national team been spoken to for logistical reasons?
– We have not spoken, Valta answers.
Kiuruk also mentions logistical reasons.
In addition to the ski jumping competitions, the Salpausselkä competitions also host cross-country skiing and the combined World Cup competitions from Friday to Sunday, so the weekend program is extremely busy and requires careful planning from the competition organization.
– Ruka, Lahti and Oslo are rare competitions in the World Cup circus. All three sports cross-country, ski jumping and combined are there at the same time. It requires more logistically and in terms of facilities, Kiuru reminds.
Head coach Valta said that he talked with Kykkänen and Rautionaho about the schedule change.
– Athletes jump when told to, and both focus on the competition. Of course, they wished that the original schedule would have been preserved.
The head coach is upset by the change of the screen location to a short one, both in terms of the audience arriving at the venue and the television.
– For young girls, this would have been a great opportunity to watch the women’s ski jumping competition.