Ski Jumping - Jumpers have mixed feelings about new hill

Some of the ski jumpers at the Sochi Olympics are struggling to adjust to the Games' new modern-style hill, saying a flatter in-run means they have to be perfect at take-off.

Reuters
Ski Jumping - Jumpers have mixed feelings about new hill
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Sochi ski jump

"The timing and the feeling of the in-run is a lot harder so I'm just getting used to it right now," said Peter Frenette of the United States, ranked 51st in the world.

Jumpers said there was less air pressure under the skis at take-off, which meant it was crucial to come off the end with as high a profile as possible.

Gregor Deschwanden of Switzerland, ranked 29th, said the take-off was hard.

"You're really high before the landing if you go far ... the landing is more difficult than on other hills," he told reporters after his third and final jump of the day.

The normal hill is brand new and was built especially for the Olympics. Jumpers said most new hills had the same design for the in-run.

Athletes with more experience of the more modern hills said they knew what to expect.

"I also had problems in the beginning. It's just a different feeling ... it's harder to get a quick take off because you don't get the pressure," said 14th-ranked Jernej Damjan of Slovenia.

Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria, ranked fourth in the world and one of the favourites for a medal, said the hill was "very very nice ... it has a very modern flying curve, so it's fine."

The session was the second to be held before the normal hill competition on Sunday.

Several leading jumpers who took part in the first session on Thursday skipped Friday's event, including Austria's Thomas Morgenstern, who is still recovering from injuries suffered in a crash last month.

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