Estonian Nordic combined (cross-country skiing and ski jumping) athlete Kristjan Ilves finished 11th in a Large Hill event in Oberstdorf, Germany, on Thursday, marking the 24-year old's career-best finish.
Ilves was seventh after the ski jumping discipline, but gave up four positions in the cross country discipline, still finishing at a career-best 11th position, two minutes and 36 seconds behind first-place Austrian Johannes Lamparter, who took the lead after the ski jumping round and never looked back.
"I am satisfied I was able to show good and stable jumps the entire World Cup week. We were not lucky with weather today, but the jump was stable and reasonable. Skiing was something else," Ilves told Vikerraadio after the event.
"It is a shame it got difficult at the end. I had to fall behind the group, but a top-10 finish was not far. I can be pleased all in all. Secretly, prior to the World Cup, I was hoping that finishing in the top eight would have been good - I did not miss that by much. But taking everything into consideration, it was pretty positive," Ilves noted.
The Estonian noted a tactical mishap from the competition: "I am a little sorry I fell behind Austrian Mario Seidl at the large hill on the third round. He fell behind some. Frenzel came after and I was trying to catch the large group with him, but they added tempo and that is when I fell behind."
"That is where I could have done better tactically and perhaps won some time. But in conclusion, I gave my all. My feet completely stopped around the third lap last time. This was a solid competition and fight to the end," Ilves said.
Kristjan Ilves faces just one more start in the world championship season. Along with his brother Andreas, the Ilves' will compete in Saturday's team sprint.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste