Geiger leaps to early lead in Four Hills

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Flat out: Karl Geiger soaring in Oberstdorf

German ski jumper Karl Geiger won the first stage of the annual Four Hills competition in Oberstdorf in Germany on Tuesday.

Geiger, who won the ski flying world championships in Planica in Slovenia in December, beat Pole Kamil Stoch with Norway's Marius Lindvik third.

After winning in Planica, Geiger tested positive for Covid-19 on December 17 and only came out of quarantine on December 27, just in time to claim his seventh World Cup victory.

The coronavirus pandemic almost prevented Stoch, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, double world cup winner and twice the Four Hills champion, and the rest of the Polish team from taking part on Tuesday.

Polish jumper Klemens Muranka had failed a COVID-19 test and the whole team was originally barred before they were tested again on Tuesday, the results were negative and the original result was declared a "false positive".

Because the Poles could not take part in Monday's qualifying event, the entire field of 62 took part in the first round on Tuesday.

The competition moves to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and then to Innsbruck and Bischofshofen in Austria.

This year the event is taking place without spectators.

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