Austria's Thomas Diethart wins 4 Hills Tour

The Associated Press

BISCHOFSHOFEN, Austria (AP) -- Thomas Diethart of Austria secured the Four Hills Tour victory in his first season on the World Cup by winning the final event on Monday.

Diethart, who also won the second event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen last week and led the competition after three stops, jumped 140 meters in the final round to hold off a challenge by fellow Austrian Thomas Morgenstern.

Diethart finished on 1,012.6 points overall to beat second-place Morgenstern by 8.3 points. Simon Ammann of Switzerland was another 1.9 points back in third.

''This is awesome, I judged that jump to perfection,'' said Diethart, who is the sixth straight Austrian winner of the prestigious tour. ''I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere out there was great.''

The 21-year-old Diethart became the first athlete to win the tour on his first attempt since Anders Jacobsen of Norway seven years ago.

''It was a mental battle,'' the Austrian said. ''Of course I was thinking I could do it. But I knew that the more relaxed I would be, the better chances I would have.''

Peter Prevc of Slovenia came second Monday but was not a contender for the tour title.

Kamil Stoch of Poland came eighth to retain his lead in the overall World Cup standings with 558 points, 24 clear of Ammann and 82 ahead of third-place Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria, who won the tour in the past two seasons.

Four-time Olympic champion Ammann was aiming to become the first Swiss jumper to win the tour. He skipped the training and qualification jumps Sunday to get an extra day of rest but lost ground on Diethart in the opening round Monday.

''Even if I took some rest, in my head I was still busy with it,'' Ammann said. ''I am annoyed with my first jump. Well done to Thomas, who beat everyone who was labeled a favorite before the tour.''

Morgenstern, who won the tour three years ago, was third before overtaking Ammann with a 142-meter effort in the final round.

''I had two great jumps today,'' said Morgenstern, who was hospitalized after a crash in Titisee Neustadt, Germany, on Dec. 15. ''To come second in the tour is sensational under the circumstances.''

World Cup ski jumping continues in Bad Mitterndorf, Austria, next weekend.

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