By Nick Butler

Richard Freitag won the third leg of the Four Hills Tour in Innsbruck ©Getty ImagesRichard Freitag won the third-leg of the International Ski Federation's Four Hills Tournament today in Innsbruck, ending a 12-year stretch without a German victory. 

With the remarkable attendance creating a memorable atmosphere, Freitag jumped 133.5 metres in his first jump and 132m in his second to finish clear of second-placed Austrian Stefan Kraft.

Switzerland's Simon Amman and Japan's Noriaki Kasai shared third place.

Freitag becomes the first German winner on the four-event Tour since Sven Hannawald's triumph in December, 2002, while it was also his second World Cup victory of the season.

"This is very good for us Germans and for myself," he told local television afterwards.

"I saw what Kraft showed in the first round, then I had to remain calm."

Richard Freitag (second left) celebrates with his fellow podium finishers ©FISRichard Freitag (second left) celebrates with his fellow podium finishers ©FIS

His victory came as a result of his greater consistency than Kraft, who jumped 137m in the first round to briefly set a hill record before compatriot Michael Hayboeck managed a metre further. 

But, despite dropping his standard in the second round, Kraft holds the overall lead, with just one event remaining on the Tour, with each of the four legs also forming part of the FIS World Cup series. 

He now has 835.4 points, to lead Hayboeck and Peter Prevc of Slovenia.

Double Olympic Champion Kamil Stoch of Poland was seventh while Germany's reigning world champion Severin Freund finished eighth.

Either Kraft or Hayboeck will now bid to become the seventh straight Four Hills Tour winner from Austria when they compete at a final leg in Bischofshofen on Tuesday (January 6).

This follows opening legs in the German resorts of Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

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