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Ammann jumps to top-five finish

Best foot forward: Ammann soars towards a fifth-place finish in Garmisch-Partenkirchen Keystone

The young Swiss ski jumper, Simon Ammann, has jumped his way to a top-five finish in the second leg of the Four Hills competition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

The 20-year-old from St Gallen finished with a combined distance 253 metres, just behind Japanese rival, Hiroki Yamada, who jumped a total of 259.1 metres. “I should have jumped two or three metres more on my second jump,” said Ammann, “but I was having trouble finding my marks on this hill.”

The overall winner of Tuesday’s event, known as the classic New Year’s Jump, was Germany’s Sven Hannawald. Austria’s Andreas Widholzl and Poland’s Adam Malysz filled the remaining podium places.

Ammann, Switzerland’s rising star who finished third in the first leg of the Four Hills in Oberstdorf on Sunday, remains in seventh place in the overall World Cup standings.

Switzerland’s Andreas Küttel, who was also taking part in the competition, finished in 29th place, while Sylvain Freiholz failed to qualify for the second jump.

The tournament now moves across the border to Austria for the third leg in Innsbruck on January 4. Ammann is hoping to do at least as well there.

“I’m not the competition favourite,” said Ammann, who is third in the Four Hills standings, “but I know I can beat Hannawald.”

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR