SHARE
COPY LINK

SKIING

High-flying teen shakes up ski jumping world

A German teenager is making waves in the world of ski jumping, coming from nowhere to take the lead in the World Cup in Lillehammer and prompting comparisons with former Olympic champions.

High-flying teen shakes up ski jumping world
Photo: DPA

The 17-year-old Andreas Wellinger reportedly left commentators scrambling for information when he took the lead in the Norwegian ski resort.

He is a discovery of German national coach Werner Schuster, who discovered Gregor Schlierenzauer and developed him into a world class jumper. Schuster said he found Wellinger in the summer at a training camp where the German national team were working the B-team and some of the C-squad athletes.

“Andi is a highly interesting man. He has convinced me of his qualities,” Schuster said.

Wellinger has started as an individual three times, coming fifth twice and 17th once. But he is one of ten who have already qualified for this weekend’s jump at the Olympic grounds in Sochi, Russia – and was the best-performing German of the team which won in Kuusamo, Finland.

Wellinger started off with Nordic combined skiing in the Bavarian town of Ruhpolding aged just seven, and spent eight years busy with that combination of jumping and cross-country competitions before in February 2011 he switched to jumping at the specialized ski school in Berchtesgaden.

“I was simply not motivated by cross-country; it was no fun for me. But jumping was great,” he said.

He was a member of the victorious German team in the youth Olympics this year in Innsbruck – and came fourth in the individual competition. This kicked him up into the German senior A-team. He has already secured his ticket for the World Cup in Val di Fiemme in February.

“This is all crazy,” he said – as international experts have already started comparing him with Gregor Schlierenzauer and Thomas Morgenstern – world and Olympic champions.

DPA/The Local/hc

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

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.

SHOW COMMENTS