Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): RusSki Gorki Jumping Center, Esto-Sadok
Date Started: February 17, 2014
Date Finished: February 17, 2014
Format: Two jumps per team member, with both scored on distance and form. Four members per team, with all four jumps in each round to count towards team total. Only the top 8 teams from the first jump advance to the second jump.
The team event was expected to be a close competition with the defending gold medalist Austria the slight favorites, although they did not win a medal in the individual events. Teams from Germany, Norway, Japan and Poland, with double individual gold medal winner [Kamil Stoch], were considered strong medal contenders.
In the first round of jumpers, [Anders Bardal] set the early lead for Norway with the longest jump of 137.5 m. However, the rest of the team could not meet the high expectations and they fell back to sixth place overall. Germany and Austria proved to be the most consistent teams with [Marinus Kraus] landing a 136.5 m jump and [Thomas Diethart] a 136.0 m jump, respectively, as their top athletes in the first round gave Germany a narrow lead of 2.5 points, with Japan in third place just 11.5 points behind. For Poland, Stoch was not enough and the team was already a disappointing 30 points behind after the first jump.
The first Austrian in the second round of jumps, [Michael HaybÃ¶ck] brought his team into the lead with a jump of 130.0 m compared to [Andreas Wank]âs 128.0 m for Germany. With Marinus Kraus scoring 132.0 points for a jump of 134.5 m, Germany reduced the margin to just 0.3 points, even though Austriaâs [Thomas Morgenstern] earned 129.9 points for a jump of 133.5 m. Kraus, who did not make it into Germany's team for the normal hill individual event, was their best performer, as the only jumper in the competition to record the best jump in his group in both rounds. After the third set of jumps Germany took the lead again because [Andreas Wellinger] outperformed Diethart by 3.7 points. Austriaâs last jumper [Gregor Schlierenzauer] jumped 132.0 m for a score of 131.4 points. But Germanyâs [Severin Freund] responded by jumping 131.0 m. This was good enough for Germany to hold onto the gold medal with a score of 1,041.1 points compared to Austriaâs 1,038.4, the closest ever margin in this event. Germany became the first team to win a third Olympic team title after Lillehammer in 1994 and Salt Lake City in 2002. The silver was Austria's first medal in men's ski jumping at Sochi, ending their long dominance in the team event. For Schlierenzauer and Morgenstern it was their fourth Olympic medal. With the highest score in the second round, Poland showed their abilities but they were too far behind after the first round to threaten the medal teams.
The Japanese team comfortably won the bronze medal, 13.5 points behind Austria, with their 41-year-old veteran [Noriaki Kasai] finishing with an excellent jump for 137.3 points to win his second medal at the Games and a team medal 20 years after his team silver at Lillehammer 1994. Stoch and Slovenian [Peter Prevc] could not continue their medal winning streak from the individual events with Poland finishing fourth and Slovenia fifth.