- Four Hills Tournament
The Four Hills Tournament "(Vierschanzentournee)" is composed of four
Ski Jumping World Cupevents and has taken place in Germanyand Austriaeach year since 1952. The tournament is third only to the World Cup and the Winter Olympicsas the most sought-after title on the ski jumpingworld circuit.
The Four Hills Tournament comprises four individual World Cup events and points gained in the Four Hills Tournament are added to points gained in other World Cup events throughout the season.
One of the tournament's particularities is its controversial qualifying system. Unlike the other ski jumping events where the best 30 competitors of the first series qualify into the second series, all four tournament's events follow the so called knock-out system, first introduced in the 1996/97 season. 50 first series competitors are divided into 25 pairs. All 25 winners of those internal "duels" plus five best "lucky losers" qualify into the second series. This way, it is theoretically possible that a competitor with the 12th first series result does not qualify into the second series (if he loses his internal duel, five lucky losers and winners of their duels have better results) while the one with the 49th first series result may still qualify (if his "rival" has the worst result).
If qualification is postponed until the day of competition, knock-out system is not used, and competition follows regular world cup rules. Because of that in 2007/08 tournament, knock-out system was used only in Oberstdorf.
List of combined Four Hills Tournament Winners
Janne Ahonen(FIN) is the first and only ski jumper to have won the tournament five times, with wins in 1998/99, 2002/03, 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2007/08. Jens Weissflog(GDR/GER) was the first ski jumper to reach four wins. He won the tournament in 1984, 1985, 1991and 1996. The next in number of wins are Helmut Recknagel(GDR) and Bjørn Wirkola(NOR) with three titles each. Wirkolas victories was in three consecutive years (1967-69), a record still uncontested.
The fourth victory of Janne Ahonen in 2005/06 was also the first time the tournament victory was tied between two competitors, with
Jakub Jandasharing the title by obtaining his first 4 Hills Tournament success.
Jens Weissflog and Bjørn Wirkola have both won ten individual competitions within the Four Hills Tournament. Janne Ahonen is next with 9 victories, followed by
Matti Nykänen(FIN) who has seven.
During the 50th edition of the tournament (
2001/ 2002), Sven Hannawald(GER) became first, and so far only, person to win all four competitions in a single year. Germanyhas the most winners with 16 (11 of which were pre-1989), next comes Finlandwith 15 victories and then Norwaywith 10 wins and Austriawith 9. Czechoslovakiaand its successor Czech Republichave two wins altogether; the following countries all have a single victory: Japan, Slovenia, Polandand the USSR.
2007-08 Four Hills Tournament
* http://www.vierschanzen.org de icon
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