CZE flag 2002 Harrachov CZE

Coat of Arms The Old Boys of the ski jumping world gathered again in March 2002 in tiny Harrachov on the northern border of the Czech Republic for competition and for fellowship in the thirteenth annual International Masters Championship. Ski Flying Logo IMC 2002 followed directly after the World Championships of ski flying held this year on the huge ski flying hill in Harrachov and many of the Masters competitors took the opportunity to arrive early and watch the World Cup lads, some of whom soared more than 200 meters, spending up to seven seconds in the air. Howling winds cancelled flying on two of the four scheduled days of jumping and in the end only four rounds were completed of the twelve scheduled rounds of training and competition. Throngs of raucous Polish fans of Adam Malysz tried to out-shout crowds of Germans supporting the eventual winner Sven Hannawald.

Harrachov 90, 70, 40m. Hills
Harrachov 90, 70 and 40 Meter Hills

The big hills (K-185 and K-120) are high up on an open slope where wind is often a problem but down at village level a couple hundred meters to the east, one finds the cluster of three hills used for the IMC (K-90, 70, 40) sheltered by dense stands of tall spruce trees. These delightful jumps were used almost every day, even while the ski flying was impossible.

NOR 64 43
GER 29 9
CZE 27 8
FIN 27 32
RUS 14 7
SWE 12 4
EST 4 2
SVK 3 1
POL 2 0
USA 1 1
total 183 107
Hopes of increased participation from central Europe were realized as old boys from ten nations, along with wives and friends, filled hotels all over the village, the prime location being the Skicentrum Hotel, right on the outrun, which was home to half of the huge Norwegian delegation. This year's event marked the first participation of skiers from the Slovak republic and the return of Poland's flag to the opening parade. Of the record ten national teams, all but one went home with IMC medals. The exception was Poland, perhaps their national spirit was exhausted during the ski flying championship. Counts of participants and medals are shown in the table at the right.

Organizers scheduled IMC competitions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 14-16 with training on Tuesday and Wednesday and the Old Boys found good spring jumping conditions with cool nights and warm days. On these sheltered jumps, wind was never a problem but tracks were a bit slow until Saturday. Jumping conditions were very good as hill workers kept the landing hills well packed and renewed or refreshed the inrun tracks often.

Wednesday evening saw a short but pleasant opening ceremony on the 90 meter outrun, then competition started Thursday morning with fifty nine athletes from eight nations competing in seven age groups on the 90 meter hill. Jan Heiberg (NOR, Class 5, ages 50-54) thrilled the crowd by laying down the long ride of the day, 88.5 meters. A long 40 meter competition (122 competitors) followed in the afternoon. Aarne Kuisma (FIN, class 8) and Willy Johansen (NOR) continued a twelve year IMC rivalry, with Willy coming out on top by five points, and long time IMC competitor Magne Heistad came back from a five year layoff to win class 7.

Friday morning, 124 Old Boys answered the call for the 70 meter competition which lasted well into the afternoon and pushed back the scheduled 26 meter jump until three pm. Ingvart Törnängen, Jan Heiberg, Ari Raitoharu, Raimo Tuovinen, Jens-Griener Hiero and Arsi Sjögren all made made it two in a row, IMC co-founder Guttorm Bakke resumed his winning ways and Aarne Kuisma evened the score, finishing ahead of Willy Johansen.

Forejumpers, aged 7
The small hill jumping was held on a junior jump located in a village park about a kilometer west of the larger hills and is an officially unofficial part of IMC, held at the discretion of the IMC hosts and open only to jumpers over 60 years old. When competitors and fans arrived, they found a junior competition in progress on the neighboring 17 meter hill. When the kids were finished, three of the junior competitors moved to the larger jump and became forejumpers for the Grand Masters. One of these forejumpers was the son of Olympic medalist and Harrachov native Pavel Ploc and the seven year old showed that he had inherited ski jumping talent as he launched himself forward over a wide "V", then finished with a gorgeous telemark landing.

Of the nine Golden Oldies competing on the 26 meter hill, seven had also jumped in the 40 meter meet the previous day. The headliner was 89 year old Olai Lie of Norway who astonished onlookers with his skill on both the 26 and the 40. Awards were presented late in the afternoons of Thursday and Friday on the outrun of the 90 meter hill. Harrachov is home to a leading Bohemian glass producer established in 1712 so the prizes included, in addition to medals, beautiful crystal goblets engraved with the title and dates of the IMC.

Another optional but popular event is the team competition, held Saturday morning. National teams consist of six skiers, one from each of the first six age groups (or older). The rules permit filling out a team with jumpers from other nations and the Czech team included a skier from Slovakia and an oldie from USA. To save time, it was agreed that each competitor would have a trial jump and just one competitive jump. Norway flexed its muscles, winning the gold medal in a runaway, while a fall by Finnish star Ari Raitoharu permitted the German team to slip in for the silver. Final scores for the six competing teams were:

NOR 537.4, GER 463.3, FIN 447.2, CZE 417.3, RUS 382.8, SWE 301.4.

Warm weather decimated the snow in the cross country stadium so the races for Nordic Combined competition were moved to a nice 2.5 km loop up in the spruce forest to the west of the ski flying hill. Racers over 60 skied 3 km, those aged 50 to 60 raced 5 km, and the younger ones covered 10 km.

On Saturday evening, everyone gathered at the luxurious Hotel Svornost, up in the village, for a gourmet banquet. Before the food, there were awards for Saturday's competitions and afterward there were the usual speeches and finally, dancing. Over the prior twelve IMC's it has been common for the top skiers to visit the podium in two or more events and this year was no exception with six double gold medalists and hat tricks by Martti Korhonen and Ingvart Tornängen. (A full listing of medalists appears below.)

Complete IMC results for all competitions are now posted on our own web site in .pdf files (Acrobat Reader required). The Nordic Combined results are separated into three files of jumping results for the three different hills (with start times) and a fourth file with cross-country times and final NC standings for all competitors.

Host Club Logo
Special Jumping Nordic Combined

You can browse through pictures of the medalists, grouped by event:
K-26 ] [ K-40 ] [ K-70 ] [ K-90 ] [ NC ] [ Team ] [ More ]
Here are the names of the medalists from IMC 2002 in Harrachov, CZ:
[This listing is wide, use your horizontal slider (if necessary) to view all five columns.]

                26 meter (K)                40 meter (K)               70 meter (K)             90 meter (K)               Nordic Combined

Cl. 9+  1.  Martti Korhonen     FIN     MARTTI KORHONEN     FIN                                                         Martti Korhonen     FIN 

70-up   2.  John Eidem          NOR     JOHN EIDEM          NOR                                                         John Eidem          NOR

        3.  Olai Lie            NOR     OLAI LIE            NOR                                                         Johs N. Johansen    NOR

Cl. 8   1.  Teuvo Koljonen      FIN     WILLY JOHANSEN      NOR     AARNE KUISMA       FIN                              Teuvo Koljonen      FIN

65-69   2.  Aarne Lintulahti    FIN     AARNE KUISMA        FIN     KURT BRAUSSE       GER                              Anatolij Chistiakov RUS

        3.  Frantisek Svehla    CZE     KURT BRAUSSE        GER     WILLY JOHANSEN     NOR                              Frantisek Svehla    CZE

Cl. 7   1.  Erkki Muhonen       FIN     MAGNE HEISTAD       NOR     INGVART TÖRNÄNGEN  SWE     INGVART TÖRNÄNGEN  SWE   Ingvart Törnängen   SWE

60-64   2.  Stanislav Grusdev   RUS     SVEIN HUSBY         NOR     MARTTI LAMMINPÄÄ   FIN     MARTTI LAMMINPÄÄ   FIN   Arnold Lund         NOR

        3.                              KÅRE HOLMAN         NOR     KÅRE HOLMAN        NOR     DON WEST           USA   Kåre Holmen         NOR

Cl. 6   1.                              DAG TESSEM          NOR     GUTTORM BAKKE      NOR     AATTO LAMMINPÄÄ    FIN   Reidar Finnanger    NOR

55-59   2.                              SIGMUND STENBERG    NOR     DAG TESSEM         NOR     ANTTI KOKKONEN     FIN   Åke Saloniemi       SWE

        3.                              GUTTORM BAKKE       SWE     AATTO LAMMINPÄÄ    FIN                              Pentti Korkko       FIN

Cl. 5   1.                              PEKKA TAINIO        FIN     JAN HEIBERG        NOR     JAN HEIBERG        NOR   Pekka Tainio        FIN

50-54   2.                              CESTMIR KOZISEK     CZE     BJÖRN KNUTSEN      NOR     BJÖRN KNUTSEN      NOR   Gjert Andersen      NOR

        3.                              KNUT SORLEIN        NOR     PEKKA TAINIO       FIN     KLAUS GÜNTHER      GER   Cestmir Kozisek     CZE

Cl. 4   1.                              ARSI SJÖGREN        FIN     ARSI SJÖGREN       FIN     JOSEF HYSEK        SVK   Pertti Laaksonen    FIN

45-49   2.                              ALF TORE HAUG       NOR     STEIN JOHANNESEN   NOR     OLAV HAGE          NOR   Arsi Sjögren        FIN

        3.                              STEIN JOHANNESEN    NOR     ALF TORE HAUG      NOR     ARNE JÖRGENSEN     NOR   Jon Ove Lomheim     NOR

Cl. 3   1.                              STIG DAHL           NOR     ARI RAITOHARJU     FIN     ARI RAITOHARJU     FIN   Leonid Vologjanine  RUS

40-44   2.                              KALEVI KANTOLA      FIN     VIDAR JOHANSEN     NOR     VEIJO STRANDEN     FIN   Stig Dahl           NOR

        3.                              JAROSLAV BUKVIC     CZE     VEIJO STRANDEN     FIN     VIDAR JOHANSEN     NOR   Tor Arild Malin     NOR

Cl. 2   1.                              PASI KÄHKÖLÄ        FIN     RAIMO TUOVINEN     FIN     RAIMO TUOVINEN     FIN   GeirRune Lislegaard NOR

35-39   2.                              MAIK GOHLKE         GER     JANNE HEINONEN     FIN     JANNE HEINONEN     FIN   Alexej Tomes        CZE

        3.                              ALEXANDER ILYUKHIN  RUS     KAIR TAMMEL        EST     ANDREY FEDEROV     RUS   Kair Tammel         EST

Cl. 1   1.                              DIRK GERSTÄCKER     GER     JENS-GREINER HIERO GER     JENS-GREINER HIERO GER   Andrey Antropov     RUS

30-34   2.                              MICHAL TOMES        CZE     MARKO GOLKE        GER     MARKO GOLKE        GER   Ole Leiråmo         NOR

        3.                              STANISLAV LASOTA    CZE     LARS ÖIVIND MOEN   NOR     LARS ÖIVIND MOEN   NOR   Alexandr Postanogov RUS

That's all for IMC 2002, now on to Poland for IMC 2003, ...

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