When competitors fell short, Halvor Egner Granerud (26) followed up the show jumping victory by winning at the first attempt.
– It’s very good. It’s always nice to win a show jumping race. I just tried to stick to my plan and had a great run in the second round. I immediately knew this was going to be long, says Granerud to VG on the phone from the Polish Show Jumping Festival in Zakopane.
In front of more than 25,000 spectators, Granrud climbed 141 meters in the final round, with the wind at his back and less edge than his rivals. The last jump ensured that the winner of the show jump took the lead with two jumpers remaining.
Jan Hurl was the first to disappoint, while Dawid Kobacki was left alone at the summit. Pole, who was driving home, seemed to get a good start from the jump, but fell earlier than expected. Kubacki finished on a modest 124 metres.
This is in stark contrast to 137.5 meters in the first round.
– I felt so much for him. I’ve been in this situation before, says Granerud of the competitor, where it suddenly becomes inconsequential when a decision has to be made.
When the score difference of 1.1 points appeared on the screen, Granerud managed to throw both hands in the air at the same time.
– The last jump was absolutely massive. One of the best things he’s done this year, said Veeplay expert and former showjumping winner Anders Jacobsen.
Prior to the final jump, Granrod earned A points with teammate Marius Lindvik after jumping 129 meters in the first round. This means that the third place will be shared between the Norwegians before the final round. Lindvik disappointed after making 120m in the final heat and was eventually number eight.
The show jumping victory has naturally ensured that more happens around the 26-year-old than usual. He admits that there has been a lot going on in recent weeks and that it was a bit strange to be back competing on the international stage.
This past weekend, Granerud took NM gold. At the first competitions after a demonstration of strength in Germany and Austria, the Norwegian continued his impressive form.
– I felt my energy level rise more and more over the weekend. It felt a little weird having to jump again, because there was so much going on, says Asker jumper.
Earlier in the season, Granerud had occasionally struggled to bring out the best in the competition. He says the focus has to change if he is going to get results that match what he has shown in training and qualifying.
– It’s changed my way of thinking a bit and what I’m trying to do in a competitive situation. It helped a lot. I’m trying to focus on what I can do about it. I tried to care less about the aspects that I couldn’t do anything about. I became more confident that I could do this by ski jumping. It yielded results, Granerud explains.
Benjamin Ostfold and Christopher Sundal were both disappointed with their jumps in the first round. As a result, there was no final round for the two Norwegians.
Johann Andre Furfang jumped to 18th place after his last jump.
“Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner.”