Keituri Takes Finnish National Jump Title
It was no real surprise that 26-year-old Kalle Keituri took the large hill ski jumping title for Finland over the weekend, on the hallowed jumps in Lahti. Keituri landed jumps good for 121 meters and 125 meters with total points of 258.7 to take the crown of national champion against the likes of famed Matti Hautamaeki (250.5 points). Finland's talented Harri Olli placed third with 249.7 total points, while Janne Ahonen, one of the world's most decorated ski jumpers finished in fourth place with jumps of 118 and 123 meters.
The stunner of the event was that nordic combined star Anssi Koivuranta finished a scant 0.1 points behind Ahonen to take fifth place. In the team comp at Finnish nationals the local boys of the Lahden Hiihotseura comprised of Ville Larinto, Mika Kulmala, Kalle Keituri and Janne Ahonen took top honors. Young Jarkko Maeattae won the juniors title on the k90 hill.
Next weekend the Flying Finns will travel to Klingenthal, Germany for more FIS Grand Prix action. Combiner Anssi Koivuranta is expected to be part of the Finnish squad, as he continues to dip his toes into the rarefied air of the special jumpers. He certainly will provide compelling watching.
Breaking news coming from Austrian ski jumping today says that star jumper, the brilliant Martin Koch will by sidelined from training and competition due to what was called today as an "overstrain syndrom of the thoracic spine."
The Villach native hopes to return to preparations soon but will definitely miss the final FIS Summer Grand Prix in Klingenthal, and the Austrian Nationals slated from October 8-10. It has been reported that Koch suffered his injury in an Austrian training camp in Lillehammer recently.
Five Austrians will take part in the final Grand Prix event. They include Gregor Schlierenzauer, Wolfgang Loitzl, Andreas Kofler, David Zauner, and Thomas Morgenstern.