Four slovenian Golden knights arrive in Planica

04. 03. 2023

Four slovenian Golden knights arrive in Planica

The Slovenian ski jumping team won the gold medal in the team event at the 43rd FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. Lovro Kos, Žiga Jelar, Timi Zajc, and Anže Lanišek delighted the home fans, causing euphoria and providing a dreamy conclusion to the ski jumping performances on the Large Hill. This is Slovenia's third medal at the championship, and their second gold. In cross-country skiing, Swedish Cross-Country skier Ebba Andersson shined on the longest distance of 30 km in classical technique. In Nordic combined, Jarl Magnus Riiber confirmed his status as a serial winner with his fourth victory in Planica.

History was once again made on the Large Hill, this time by the Slovenian ski jumpers, who became World Champions in the last ski jumping competition of the 43rd FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. A day after Timi Zajc's individual success, Slovenia won the gold medal in the team event. Zajc, Lovro Kos, Žiga Jelar, and Anže Lanišek were a class apart in the exceptional competition against Austria, Norway, and Poland.

Slovenia was already in the lead after the first series, with a score of 597.6 points, which was enough for a slight advantage over the Norwegians and Austrians. Everything was prepared for the decisive and psychologically demanding second series. The Slovenian boys did not give up, fought hard, and continued to amaze the 9500 visitors who came to support them under the ski jump. Timi Zajc and Anže Lanišek maintained the decisive lead with exceptional jumps, with Lanišek confirming Slovenia's great victory with his best jump of the championship. "Yesterday was a short night, I went to bed late and woke up early. When you're in shape, there's no need to complicate things. Even when you're tired, things are simple," was outspoken Timi Zajc after busy last 24h. In the finish area Lanišek was clearly bursting from joy: "Today I told myself that I'm going all out. I have no regrets because we have the gold medal. I knew we were going to achieve something big today."

Slovenia's golden team © BoBo/Žiga Živulovič ml.

This is Slovenia's third medal at the home World Championships in Planica and their second FIS Snowflake gold. Slovenian athletes have now won a total of 12 medals at FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.

The Norwegians took second place, trailing the Slovenian quartet by twelve points. The Austrians won the bronze medal in the team event.

Ebba Andersson won the royal race over 30 km

Ebba Andersson dominated the competition and became the world champion on the longest women's event - the 30 km classic technique mass start. The 25-year-old cross-country skier from Sollefteå was second after the first 6 kilometers, but then raised the pace and gained a crucial advantage which she did not relinquish until the finish line. Andersson won her second gold medal at the 43rd FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, having already been the fastest in the 15 km skiathlon. She ended the Norwegian dominance on the longest women's race distance as Norwegian skiers had won the last six gold medals. Ebba Andersson said, "It was a fantastic day for me. I felt strong and had good skis. Then I tried to maintain the pace I set and cross the finish line first."

© BoBo/Luka Kotnik

Norwegian honor was defended with a silver medal by Anne Kjersti Kalvå, who bid farewell to the competitions in the valley below the Ponce Mountains with a total of three medals. The Swedish domination in cross-country skiing was confirmed with a third-place finish by Frida Karlsson, who won two silver and two bronze medals in Planica. Only Neža Žerjav represented the home team in the challenging competition and finished in last place, 42nd.

Riiber impressed with a ski flying hill record and his fourth gold in Planica

Norwegian Nordic combined skier Jarl Magnus Riiber was unstoppable at the Planica championships. He won four gold medals in the four events he competed in, including the ski flying hill record and the 10 km cross-country skiing competition.

He did most of the work in the ski jumping event, flying to an incredible 147 meters, which was significantly better than the record set by Peter Prevc on the Large Hill  in 2014 with 142 meters. Although his big lead from the ski jumping event dwindled a bit, the Oslo athlete still finished more than a minute ahead of second-placed countryman Jens Luraas Oftenbro.

© BoBo/Luka Kotnik

This was Riiber's twelfth medal at the World Championships. "My jump was exceptional. I knew I would have a few seconds ahead of my competitors. I gave everything in the first three laps and just enjoyed the moment on the last lap. With these four gold medals, all the health problems I had this season are forgotten," Riiber said of his incredible achievement.

The bronze medal went to Austria's now-former champion Johannes Lamparter. The best Slovenian was Gašper Brecl, who finished in 37th place.