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SKIING

Loitzl shocks Ammann to take Garmisch ski jump honours

Wolfgang Loitzl of Austria won the second stage of the annual Four Hills event at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Germany on Thursday.

Loitzl shocks Ammann to take Garmisch ski jump honours
Photo: DPA

Loitzl, 28, bagged his first major win after jumps of 134.5m and 136.5m gave him 276.3 points, enough to see off Switzerland’s double 2002 Olympic champion and opening leg winner Simon Ammann, who is hoping to land his countrymen their first overall success in the event.

Ammann could only manage 274.6 points after he jumped 140m and 134.5m while Finn Harri Olli scored 258.6 points with 133m and 131.5m to complete the podium.

The third leg of the event is in Innsbruck on Sunday prior to Tuesday’s final leg at Bischofshofen.

Titleholder Janne Ahonen of Finland, who managed a record five overall Four Hills wins, retired last spring.

Ammann thought his opening gambit would suffice but the World Cup leader’s second jump meant he just missed out as Loitzl’s own second jump received a maximum score of 20 from four of the five judges.

“It was a great jump – doubtless the best I have ever pulled off,” said Loitzl. “I knew that pulling out something like that was the only way to worry Ammann.”

Loitzl had beforehand come close on numerous occasions with six second places and three third places in his career but this time made the breakthrough.

Loitzl now leads Ammann by 561.5 points to 561.0 in the competition but the Swiss leads the World Cup overall standings after nine of 28 events with 765 points to Austrian Gregor Schlierenzauer’s 610 and 539 for Loitzl.

MUNICH

Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

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