Ski jumping at the Winter Olympics in Beijing came to a close with a tense finish, as Austria secured team gold when Manuel Fettner's final jump was just long enough to overtake Slovenia.
That gave the Austrians their first Olympic ski jumping gold since 2010, having failed to win a single medal in 2018 in a sport where they have traditionally been a power.
Slovenia was looking for a third ski jumping gold at Beijing 2022 but settled for silver and Germany took bronze.
Beijing 2022
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Norway went into the event as the reigning champions, but they were facing a big challenge to keep hold of their title.
All of the favourites for the medals progressed to the final round, with Slovenia top of the standings after the first round ahead of Austria and Norway. China, the USA and the Czech Republic all dropped out.
Scores carry over from the opening round but the final round is when things can really change.
It was first blood to Austria after the opening athletes, with three-time world champion Stefan Kraft producing the best jump among the first legs, securing 119.7 points to move his team up to first in the standings. Piotr Zyla produced an almost identical jump to bring Poland back into contention.
But Slovenia were back on top at the end of the standings at the end of the second round of jumpers to leapfrog Austria, with Cene Prevc producing a brilliant jump to propel them back to first place.
It was nip and tuck at the top of the standings and Jan Hoerl put Austria back into the lead by 5.3 points ahead of Slovenia, with Norway sitting third but under threat from Germany.
Switzerland’s 40-year-old Simon Ammann, a four-time Olympic champion who became known as the ‘flying Harry Potter’ for wearing thick-rimmed glasses on the podium in 2002, also jumped in the penultimate round in what was likely to be his final showing at a Games but he was never able to draw his team into contention.
The big hitters were still to come in the final round. Not even Ryoyu Kobayashi, who had already won gold and silver, was able to move Japan into medal contention despite finishing with a decent final score of 132.6.
Kamil Stoch was next for Poland and he crossed the line with a shake of the head and slap on the helmet having only registered 121.4.
Now we were into the medal contenders and Karl Geiger put Germany into contention with a score of 119.0, moving them up to gold medal position. Individual large hill champion Marius Lindvik’s effort of 115.6 was not enough to move Norway above them.
But Slovenia and Austria were still to go and Peter Prevc put the Slovenians into the lead with a score of 116.0, meaning only Manuel Fettner could deny them the title. The team watched on anxiously for the score, but his effort of 119.0 was enough to secure victory for the team of Fettner, Kraft, Daniel Huber and Hoerl to take the win.
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Beijing 2022
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