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Swiss still in the hunt for Four Hills title

Simon Ammann roared back into contention in Innsbruck Keystone

Ski jumpers Simon Ammann and Andreas Küttel are still in with a chance to become the first Swiss to win the prestigious Four Hills competition.

This content was published on January 4, 2007 - 18:18

Both athletes are sitting in third position overall after the third leg in Innsbruck, Austria behind Norway's Andreas Jacobsen, the winner on Thursday, and Finland's Arttu Lappi.

Jacobsen took his second career World Cup ski jumping victory, narrowly upsetting hometown favourite Thomas Morgenstern to win the third event of the Four Hills tournament.

Jumping last, the Norwegian managed 128.5 meters, enough for a 1.1-point lead over Morgenstern. Amman was third in a showdown in which the lead changed hands five times.

The 2002 dual Olympic champion, finally back among the top jumpers, nailed a 132-metre jump on his second attempt - the best result of the day - and enough to ensure the first Swiss podium finish in Innsbruck since 1980.

Most observers had written off Ammann's chances in the tournament after he only finished 18th in the second leg in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Küttel finished seventh despite remaining off the pace on the day.

One last event

Rising Austrian star Gregor Schlierenzauer, who led the Four Hills going into Thursday's competition, finished a distant 11th with lacklustre jumps of 122 and 119 metres and slipped into second place in the overall World Cup standings. He was expected to do much better at his usual training facility.

Ammann moves into equal third place overall with Küttel in the Four Hills competition. Sunday's final will be held on the super-sized hill at Bischofshofen, Austria.

Küttel won the second stop of the ski jumping tournament in Garmisch on Monday after downpours and gusts cancelled the second run. He was the first Swiss to win a Four hills event in 30 years.

Schlierenzauer, a 16-year-old in his first year on the World Cup circuit, won the opening round in the German resort of Oberstdorf ahead of Küttel.

swissinfo with agencies

Kings of the hill

Ski jumping's Four Hills Tournament (Vierschanzentournee) is composed of four World Cup events and has taken place in Germany and Austria each year since 1952.

The four towns hosting the events are Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany, as well as Innsbruck and Bischofshofen in Austria.

The tournament is possibly the most sought after title on the ski jumping world circuit after the Winter Olympics.

Points gained during the competition are added to points gained in other World Cup events throughout the season.

Only one man has one all four events in one year: Germany's Sven Hannawald in 2002.

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