The German team is always one of the World Cup favourites thanks to their reliability when it comes to the main events of the season. It shouldn’t be different this year either, however, it seems that everything is up to the jumpers’ medical condition.
Unfortunately, a few athletes of the national team spent the summer season in hospital. The most painful loss for Werner Schuster’s team is that of Severin Freund’s. The best German jumper suffered ACL tear in his knee. It’s sure that we won’t see him in the World Cup during the upcoming season. The injury destroyed his dream about winning the Olympic medal in Korea as well. A few of his teammates were also injured but is it going to be a big problem for such a strong team?
In the absence of Severin Freund, the new leader of the team is Andreas Wellinger. The golden boy of the German ski jumping grew up to be the most powerful force of his team throughout the previous season. Two silver medal at World Championships and the fourth place in the Overall World Cup mean that he’s one of the favourites of the upcoming winter. However, his summer season wasn’t trouble free either. He injured his knee a little bit and didn’t want to risk to hurt himself even more. That is why the 22-years-old German skipped almost the entire summer season and began competing only in the last competitions of the SGP. He finished fourth in Hinznbach, while second in Klingenthal. So far, it looks like Wellinger is going to be one of the brightest stars of 2017/2018.
There are a lot of questions about the shape of Germany’s second best athlete – Markus Eisenbichler. His summer wasn’t great, but if he’s going to jump on a similar level as he did the last season, Germans can stay calm and expect good results. If not, there will be a lack of support for Wellinger.
During the summer season we could see pretty decent jumps from Karl Geiger and Stephan Leyhe. Geiger started his summer season with a third place in Wisła. Later, his jumps got a bit worse but we can tell that he made a big progress and can play an important role in the team this winter. Stephan Leyhe, the 7th athlete of the SGP, should be also strong in the WC.
It seems that the first jumper of the reserve team is going to be Richard Freitag. A few years ago it was generally stated that he’s an equally big talent as Severin Freund but he didn’t manage to jump on a very high level for long. Year by year, he starts to become more and more average… His date of birth says that he’s in the best age to be a good and experienced ski jumper.
David Siegel is back on track after a long break due to his ankle injury. The athlete from SV Baiersbronn was 28th in the SGP in Klingenthal. Hopefully, the time during which he couldn’t practice will not have a bad influence on his development and Siegel will be regularly collecting WC points.
It’s obvious that Andreas Wank will be fighting for a place in the team. Some time ago he lost his shape and he is struggling with getting back on the right track. This is, of course, something that can change this winter.
Can the Germans count on someone new? Pius Paschke, who takes part in mostly all of the Continental Cup competitions, had a quite successful summer season. However it’s hard to expect from the experienced 27-years-old man that this winter will be much much better for him than the previous ones. Germans have also a strong junior team but it’s hard to tell who and when will start jumping on a high level.
Werner Schuster will have a diffucult task this winter. His team will fight in order to defend the Olympic gold medal in PyeongChang. Their memories from the team competitions aren’t as pleasant. They were the favourites in Falun and Lahti as well where they didn’t manage to get any medal. It’s obvious that they will still be one of the favourites this winter. Even without Severin Freund, they should manage to have four very strong athletes for the team competition and one of them will be for sure fighting for the highest individual trophies. German fans don’t expect them only to fight for medals, they expect them to win those medals – any other results will be considered as defeat.