Finland’s combined national team had a minor victory at the World Championships in Planica. Ilkka Herola was ninth and Eero Hirvonen eleventh after suurmäki and 10 kilometers of skiing.
On a personal level, they were the best gift from the Finnish team. Finland was fifth in the team competition and sixth in the first team competition.
After Suurmäki, the Finns were really far from the top and dropped out of the medal fight. Eero Hirvonen was 15th as the best Finn. The difference with the one who made a huge jump to Jarl Magnus Riiber was almost three minutes.
The head coach of the combined national team Antti Kuisma admitted on Saturday that the situation is frustrating.
– There are no wedding thoughts. This is what we downloaded when we were in the first week. It was thought that it was already possible to raise it to half a pole, Kuisma said.
– It would have required the best of the season and my own best jumping to have been able to participate in the competition. These were intermediate model jumps. Even in the World Cup, they have been enough for that group of 20, but now the differences grew really big, when the top men jumped so impossibly far.
Kuismaa is frustrating, especially because jumping has been rampant in the combined event for years.
– It’s a frustrating situation at this point, when you’ve always believed that it would come from there. Sometimes we got closer. The basic level has been slightly latticed, but it does not come from the assembly line. You don’t just come here to get medals, you have to be in good shape in all areas.
“Can you curse in this live broadcast?”
Herola has seen big climbs in the skiing section in previous seasons, when he was the best skier of the tour with Eero Hirvonen. This season, the Finns haven’t had the desired impact on the track either. On Sunday, however, according to his words, Herola showed maximum skiing performance.
– That was the best thing here. I managed to build the ski intact. It was a boost of confidence that skiing can be found there. But it was also wasted this time, Herola stated.
In the Normalimäki race, Herola was 18th. The World Championship silver medalist from two years ago did not have very positive thoughts about Planica.
– Can you curse in this live broadcast?
– Many beep words in a row. It wasn’t a bad race. Got stuck in both individual competitions, and couldn’t get out in the team competitions either. Especially the men’s team race was disappointing on a personal level. There weren’t many positive vibes left.
Kukkonen wants to shake up structures
Sports expert Petter Kukkonen according to the Finnish team, accurate analyzes must now be made of what the results seen in the World Cup are the result of.
Kukkonen retired last spring as the head coach of the combined national team after a decade of work. Minor changes were made in the coaching of the combined national team for this season. Training was also concentrated in Kuopio.
– The changes have not worked well enough. Are they too cosmetic then? Should I dare to fluff the coaching that I myself have been building? Kukkonen asked in Urheilustudio on Saturday.
According to Kukkonen, there should still be continuity in the combined team, because last season Finnish youth won the world championship in the team competition. Super promise from that team Perttu Reponen however, has been ill this season and hasn’t been able to compete much.
According to Kukkonen, the combined situation should also be rooted out more deeply. Kukkonen would direct his gaze towards club activities.
– For the combined and ski jumping national team activities, foreign experts, dressage athletes and others have been hired with a lot of money. However, should we invest in the field and build the thing again? Kukkonen asks.
Riiber made a splash with his high jump
Internationally, the most famous name was known: Norwegian Jarl Magnus Riiber. He won four golds in four competitions, although this season has been tinged with problems.
The background has been an intestinal parasite and the death of grandparents. Riiber repeated Johannes Rydzek too Lahti’s 2017 World Championship trick with its perfect balance of four championships.
Riiber also became the first eight-time World Cup gold medalist in combined history.
Riiber was especially impressive on Sunday at Suurmäki, where he jumped a 147-meter slice. Petter Kukkonen called Riiber’s jump perhaps the best sports performance in combined history.
– It was incredible to get the best out of the World Cup, Riiber told Urheilu.
– I knew this would be possible when I came to Planica. I jumped well at home. I knew I could do better at the World Championships than earlier this year.
What is Riiber’s secret?
– I do not know. Maybe it’s passion, Riiber laughed.