Germany beats Austria for ski jumping team gold
Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Germany's Severin Freund helped his team claim ski jumping gold over the Austrians Monday at the Sochi Games, sealing the victory on the final attempt of the competition at RusSki Gorki Jumping Center.
Germany ended the team event with 1,041.1 points to dethrone the two-time defending Olympic champion Austrians, who were 2.7 points behind for silver.
The Germans entered the final jump of the team event with a lead of just 3.4 points over Austria, setting up an all-important final jump for gold between Freund and Gregor Schlierenzauer.
Schlierenzauer, winner of three medals four years ago in Vancouver for the Austrians, scored a 131.4 in his last jump. Freund couldn't match that score, but his mark of 130.7 was enough to give Germany the gold.
The Germans won their first gold in this event since the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. They were silver medalists behind Austria at the Vancouver Games.
It was the first men's ski jumping medal of the 2014 Games for the powerful Austrian team, which could not reach the podium in either of the individual events.
Japan won bronze with a total score of 1,024.9, claiming the country's first medal in this event since winning gold at the 1998 Nagano Games. Poland, with double-gold medalist Kamil Stoch, finished fourth.
The United States team of Peter Frenette, Nicholas Fairall, Anders Johnson and Nicholas Alexander failed to qualify for the eight-team final round. The Americans finished in 10th place with a score of 402.5 in Round 1, putting them 59 points behind Finland for the last berth in the finals.
Canada finished last of the 12 teams competing in the first round.