Germany's Freitag wins 3rd stop of 4 Hills Tour
INNSBRUCK, Austria (AP) Ski jumper Richard Freitag ended a 12-year German victory drought at the Four Hills Tour by winning the third stop Sunday, while Austria's Stefan Kraft placed second to extend his lead in the event standings.
Freitag jumped 133.5 and 132 meters for a total of 278.5 points and his second World Cup win of the season. Germany hadn't won at the prestigious competition since Sven Hannawald's triumph in December 2002.
"This is great, not just for me but for the entire German team," Freitag said. "It really makes it fun to jump in front of such a large crowd."
Kraft trailed Freitag by five points. Kraft set a hill record with a 137-meter effort in the opening round before fellow Austrian Michael Hayboeck, who leads the overall World Cup standings, beat that mark by another meter in the final round.
Switzerland's Simon Amman and Japanese veteran Noriaki Kasai shared third with 263.7 points each.
With one event remaining, Kraft has 835.4 points, followed by Hayboeck with 812.3 and Peter Prevc of Slovenia on 806.
"A dream has come true for me though I haven't won the tour yet," Kraft said. "I became a bit nervous before my final jump but I went like a rocket again."
Kraft or Hayboeck can become the seventh straight Four Hills Tour winner from Austria during the final stop at Bischofshofen on Tuesday.