Nothing unusual appeared to occur at first. Halvor Egner Granerud leaned forward as usual right after the jump, his body and skis forming a sort of long H rather than a braking V as he lay flat on the air cushion. Granerud’s right arm spontaneously jerked outward, causing him to drift somewhat to the right, but it didn’t matter that the back left end of this position sagged significantly. Granerud performed a similarly impressive jump and gracefully landed it in the snow. As a result, the Norwegian soared to the top of the tour standings and was once more untouchable on this particular day.

Granerud then crossed his leaping legs cross-legged, raised his arms, put his thumbs to his forefingers, and signaled a very brief meditation before leaving the outrun. Perhaps he was just being arrogant, or perhaps he was trying to get the audience’s attention. The 26-year-old, who was often sullen and very reserved, was undoubtedly ecstatic about this day.

He has temporarily separated himself from this tour’s direct rivals, who were at first particularly full of favorites, possibly even decisively. The following shooter is already 26.8 points back: Dawid Kubacki, the best Polish player the previous winter, struggled a little with his performance after landing and was once again unable to utilize his jump to its maximum potential. The Slovenian Anze Lanisek, on the other hand, had made a climb up the rankings equivalent to his actual one in the snow.

He made up six positions in a single motion. The third-placed Piotr Zyla has already been defeated in the overall standings with 40.1 points by the Germans Karl Geiger (minus 57.6) and Andreas Wellinger (minus 57.8), however, and he is still 51.4 points behind them. No, as has been suggested elsewhere, Granerud’s brief meditation obviously referred to calmness, inner balance, and strength.

After this day, national coach Stefan Horngacher’s German jumpers genuinely needed some downtime. Karl Geiger was dissatisfied when his flawless flying form from Oberstdorf abruptly started to slip once more. He said, “If you miss a jump, you can be out.” Neither the qualifying round, the knockout round, nor the final leap in Garmisch-Partenkirchen were appropriate for keeping an eye on the top in any way. Andreas Wellinger also failed to progress despite the fact that his early jump gave us a lot of hope.

Anyone can make a mistake while on tour. But Granerud appears reliable.

Horngacher claimed that after Oberstdorf, “when we believed we had caught up,” people were even more ecstatic. Instead, the new wind changed course, forcing the DSV jumpers to adjust their position. Stefan Kraft also struggled with his disappointment since the Austrian, who was a strong contender for the championship even before the tour, is now almost 75 points out of contention.

Kraft was most likely still weak from his cold from Engelberg because he dropped too early again at Garmisch-Partenkirchen and was unable to offset the tailwind. He later claimed that this was because “you don’t get that many wind points because the wind also came from the side.” But he was looking forward to the two stations that came after that, Innsbruck and Bischofshofen.

On tour, the wildest things might happen, and Halvor Egner Granerud frequently takes a snap decision as a result of an idea that unexpectedly misleads him and sets him back. Not just in Innsbruck, but also in Bischofshofen, anything is conceivable. Granerud has, in reality, worked on himself as well. He undoubtedly realized that his cerebral nature was counterproductive, optimized many aspects of his leap, and, in contrast to all of his rivals, got in shape on schedule. He unexpectedly won the qualifying in Oberstdorf with his first jump of the series. And he may have now put another negative experience behind him with this triumph in Garmisch, where he had already wasted all of his tour possibilities with an eighth place.

Some locals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen said that Granerud had only mimicked fellow countryman and soccer scorer Erling Haaland, who enjoys cheering while crossing his legs, but it is highly improbable and excessively naive. Halvor Egner Granerud undoubtedly had something he wanted to announce, namely that he may now completely unwind after this performance at the second leg of the 22/23 tour.

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