Eight places in the top 30. Eight out of 22 possibilities. Let it ring out. Points were a Polish holiday in the jubilee 70th Four Hills Tournament. Whatever. Our entire team scored 83 points for the Nations Cup in these four competitions.
For one victory you can get more points – 100. And in recent years we have won almost everything in the 4-Hills-Tournament. In 2017, 2018 and 2021, the Golden Eagle was taken to Poland by Kamil Stoch. In 2020, Dawid Kubacki popped it out. In 2017, Piotr Żyła was second and Maciej Kot fourth. It should be third, and it was not noticed too late by the judges who measured the jump of Daniel Andre Tande wrong.
That chorus again
Today, the measure that should be applied to the Polish performance in the Tournament is the one from the 2015/2016 season. The last winter of Łukasz Kruczek’s coaching term returns in the first weeks of this season as a refrain that we would not like to hear. We then climbed the podium once in 35 World Cup competitions – we were third in the team in Zakopane. Now we have one third of Stoch’s place (in Klingenthal). And for the time being, we certainly do not have any prospects for further successes.
In that last season, before the arrival of Stefan Horngacher (and with him Michal Doleżal – first as assistant, then successor), we had five players at the 4-Hills-Tournament. So we had 20 points chances in four competitions. And we scored nine times. So we turned out even better than now.
In that tournament, the best Pole – Stoch – was 23. Our leader lost over 330 points to the winner, Peter Prevc. Next we had 25th Stefan Hula, 32nd Maciej Kot, 35th Kubacki, 51st Andrzej Stękała and 64th was alive. Now Piotr Żyła was our number 1, but when it comes to the world – only 15. With over 270 points behind Ryoyu Kobayashi, who won the whole event.
Maybe not the wake up yet, but the moods are getting more and more gallant
For us it was maybe not a funeral, but our moods are more and more gallant. Stoch, after 41st place in Oberstdorf, 47th in Ga-Pa and eliminated in qualifying in Innsbruck, returned home. The vein seems to be jumping to the top – after 38th place in Oberstdorf he was 11th in Ga-Pa and 18th and 13th in Bischofshofen. But also in him and in Kubacki, who has glimpses (10th place in Bischofshofen in the qualification for the last competition, but in the competition in the second series he broke the jump and fell from 17th to 27th) it is difficult to see the jumpers today for the fight for Olympic medals .
All our jumpers are still missing something. Time is running out, and it is shrinking, and they – and the coaches – are not finding it. Worse still, the worst is that there is no one to give the old masters a change. Yes, already an old one. She was alive and in a few days she would be 35. Stoch will be 35 in May. Kubacki will be 32-year-old in March. The younger ones, Jakub Wolny or Andrzej Stękała, are more likely to be eliminated this season than they are in the top 30 competitions.
In recent seasons, we have often been worried that we do not have a fourth team, and now we are wondering how Michal Doleżal will put the team together for the Sunday competition in Bischofshofen.
In a week’s time, the last team before the Olympics. In Zakopane. This will be the last World Cup before the Beijing squad is announced. And probably the last chance to believe in yourself. And let us regain faith in the team that has given us so much joy over the last five seasons that now it is so difficult to recall our memories of this unfortunate, still imposing winter 2015/2016.