Ammann seeks new high
Swiss ski-jumping hero Simon Ammann is looking to leap even further than normal this weekend as he takes part in his first ever ski flying event.
The ski flying world championships in the Czech Republic town of Harrachov are set to herald Ammann’s debut in a discipline that sees jumpers fly far beyond their normal distances.
As well as jumping from larger hills, the athletes in ski flying are not marked down for inelegant landings – meaning that distance is the only factor that counts.
Ammann was able to celebrate a historic double gold medal win at last month’s Winter Olympics with jumps of around 130 and 140 metres. In Harrachov the 20-year-old star is hoping to become the first Swiss to clear the magical 200-metre mark.
“The main thing for me will be to gather some experience,” said Ammann, ahead of his ski flying debut.
“It should be great fun,” he added.
Ammann’s Olympic team-mates Andreas Küttel and Sylvain Freiholz are also keen to be the first Swiss to clear 200 metres – a feat so far achieved by just 63 athletes from 11 countries.
Since the jumpers go in reverse order to their world cup rankings, Küttel and Freiholz will both have the chance to go before Ammann.
Freiholz is the current Swiss record-holder, having jumped 196 metres in Slovenia three years ago.
German stars Sven Hannawald and Martin Schmitt and Poland’s Adam Malysz are widely tipped to dominate the Harrachov weekend. Following their experience in Salt Lake, though, all three will probably be keeping an eye on Ammann.
by Mark Ledsom with agencies
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