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German Olympic boss critical of midnight ski-jumping at Olympics

Europe, Europa
14.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Pyeongchang, South Korea (dpa) - German Olympic supremo Alfons Hoermann on Wednesday voiced criticism on the scheduling of Olympic ski-jumping and other events, saying that competing late in the day was a borderline experience.

"What is asked from the athletes is barely acceptable in some events like ski-jumping. And if you add the wind and cold we experienced then you must wonder whether it is outside the acceptable limit," the DOSB president said on Wednesday.

The men‘s normal hill event took three hours Saturday and ended after midnight in windy conditions and wind chill temperatures of below minus 20 degrees Celsius. The women‘s event Monday ended shortly before midnight in similar conditions.

Although German Andreas Wellinger got the gold Hoermann questioned whether the competition was really fair, with four-time Olympic champion Simon Ammann needing five attempts to have his second jump.

"Given Andreas Wellinger‘s win we could go easy on it and say it was OK. But I feel sorry for an affected athlete such as Simon Ammann," Hoermann said.

As in Sochi four years ago, the jumping in Pyeongchang starts a 9:30 pm local time or later, with television networks favouring a late start as it is then afternoon in key European markets.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) meanwhile said earlier Wednesday it has received no formal complaints on the issue.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said the sports federations, national federations and athletes "seem to be happy. There have been some other voices but no official complaints."

The women‘s jumpers were also unconcerned with the late-night conditions after their event.

Norwegian gold medallist Maren Lundby said: "We are used to it. This is part of being a ski jumper," and German runner-up Katharina Althaus also called it "part of the game."

 

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