The Flying Squad! Our boys are going for gold at World Ski Championships in Austria
Poland’s five man ski jumping team have landed in Austria with high hopes for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championship.
Fighting fit Kamil Stoch, Dawid Kubacki, Piotr Żyła, Jakub Wolny and Stefan Hula have been building up their form during the season, with overall World Cup rankings putting Stoch in second place, Żyła in fourth and Dawid Kubacki in fifth.
The excitement surrounding their chances has been slightly marred, however, by the possibility of trainer Stefan Horngacher quitting after the competition.
The head of the Polish Skiing Association, Apoloniusz Tajner, told PAP: “We talked with coach Horngacher during the World Cup event in Zakopane.
“In general, we agreed to end the talks and for him to make his decision in Seefeld at the end of the World Championship.
“Our offer, which we have made, is very beneficial and attractive for Horngacher, but we do not know what proposals are still coming to him.
“I know that the Germans are very interested, but I hope that Horngacher will stay with us. We would love it, he also knows it.”
Back on piste, it’s not just the male ski jumpers who are causing a stir.
For the first time in history, Kinga Rajda and Kamila Karpiel will start in the women’s competition, and a welcome surprise is the appearance of Justyna Kowalczyk, both as a competitor and assistant coach in cross-country skiing.
It seemed that the double Olympic and World Championship winner had ended her career, but she decided to compete once again. While her form might not be at its peak, the experienced champion is still expected to deliver a few surprises.
The cross country women’s team has also Izabela Marcisz, Monika Skinder, Weronika and Urszula Łętocha in its ranks.
Considering Skinder’s recent gold in sprint during the European Youth Olympic Festival in Sarajevo, she is definitely someone to watch.
The other Polish sportsmen include the cross-country male team: Dominik Bury, Maciej Staręga, Kamil Bury, as well as Szczepan Kupczak, Paweł Słowiok, Adam Cieślar and Paweł Twardosz in Nordic Combined.
The Championship will be held from February 20th to March 3rd.