Begunje na Gorenjskem, 26 October (STA) - Sports equipment manufacturer Elan signed a contract on Tuesday with Austrian ski jumper Wolfgang Loitzl, the reigning normal hill (K90) world champion. Loitzl will thus defend his title in Oslo this year with Slovenian-made skis.
"I'm glad that I'll be cooperating with Elan. I tested their skis in summer and was immediately very happy with them, so the start of cooperation was only a matter of time. I'm hoping to upgrade my achievements from last year," the 30-year-old said.
Elan signed the deal with Loitzl after Slovenian jumpers Robert Kranjec, Jernej Damjan and Jurij Tepes decided to cooperate with a different ski manufacturer.
"Today's contract is part of our business strategy. We've decided for Loitzl also because our orders in Austria went up by 40%," CEO Robert Ferko said at the signing of the deal.
Loitzl will be Elan's best athlete in the upcoming winer of 2010/2011, although their list of jumpers is long.
Apart from all Slovenian jumpers (bar Kranjec, Damjan and Tepes), it includes Italy's Andrea Morassi and Roberto DeLasega, Czech jumper Martin Cikl, Poland's Dawid Kubacki, Rafal Slizs, Marcin Bachleda, Lukasz Rutkowski, Jakob Kot and Grzegorz Mietus, Norway's Johan Remen Evensen, Kenneth Gangnes, Robert Johanson, Akseli Kokkonen and Vegard Swensen, Sweden's Isak Grimholm, Carl Nordin and Josef Larsson, and Russia's Ilya Rosliakov.
Elan also plans to enter the German market by inviting one of Germany's most successful ski jumpers Martin Schmitt on board.