Austria's Thomas Diehart had only taken part in four World Cup ski jumping events before Christmas. But it was the 4th and 6th place in the Englebert rounds just days before that would have alerted others to his potential.
However, since he has gone on a remarkable run. On the 29th December he lined up for his first appearance in a Four Hills event. In the first round he jumped 139m the same distance as Simon Ammann SWI, for the second longest distance of the round, in the second round he equalled the distance as his countryman Thomas Morgenstern 134.5m. His style marks weren't the best but with the top 5 only divided by 5.1 points overall he slotted in at equal 3rd claiming his first World Cup podium, behind Ammann.
New Year's Day saw him soar out beyond everyone else his 141m in round 1 was 2 metres further than Morgenstern and a full 7.5 metres further than Ammann. In round 2 he cleared 140.5m in what was to be the only time someone jumped 140 in both rounds of any hill, this was 1.5m further than both Morgernstern and Amman, giving him 9 points more than his compatriot and almost 17 more than Amman.
Saturday saw the weather foreshortened Innsburck hill which was cut short after the first round. Diehart was in 5th after that having jumped a mere 126.5m but everyone was shorter as a result of the weather. Only Ammann of him main rival was able to gain any ground on him overtaking Morgenstern to go second in the standings as a result of his second place leap but he only pulled back 3.6 points leaving the 21-year-old Austrian with an eleven point lead with just one round to go the following day.
1. Thomas Diehart AUT
297.3 (3) + 296.1 (1) + 122.7 (5) + 296.5 (1) = 1012.6
2. Thomas Morgenstern AUT
296.8 (5) + 285.1 (2) + 118.8 (8) + 293.6 (3) = 994.3
3. Simon Ammann SWI
301.9 (1) + 278.5 (3) + 126.3 (2) + 285.7 (4) = 992.4
4. Peter Prevc SLV
297.3 (3) + 257.1 (18) + 122.1 (6) + 294.8 (2) = 971.3
5. Noriaki Kasai JAP
294.5 (6) + 265.3 (6) + 121.3 (7) + 281.0 (5) = 962.1
6. Anders Bardel NOR
297.9 (2) + 260.6 (13) + 113.7 (14) + 278.4 (6) = 950.6