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Ryoyu Kobayashi captures second World Cup title

Kyodo

Ryoyu Kobayashi captured another men’s ski jumping title Sunday, following up his first victory on the previous day with another win at the FIS World Cup event in the Finnish resort of Ruka. Kobayashi registered the day’s biggest jump of 147.5 meters after a 140-meter leap.

The 22-year-old Pyeongchang Olympian, and the younger brother of ski jumper Junshiro Kobayashi, totaled 310.4 to finish ahead of Germany’s Andreas Wellinger and Poland’s Kamil Stoch, who scored 288.4 and 285.4, respectively.

Kobayashi beat the Pyeongchang Olympic gold medalists Wellinger, who won the individual normal hill event in South Korea, and Stoch, the individual large hill champion.

“I’m happy that I’ve won by a large margin,” said Kobayashi, adding that the results of this season is more than he has imagined. “I feel like I’m not going to lose.”

After Stoch posted 144 meters and Wellinger 145.5 in their second jumps, Kobayashi leaped even further, tying the hill record in the process.

On Saturday, Kobayashi won his first ski jumping World Cup title since making his debut on this circuit as a 19-year-old in 2016. The event, also held in Ruka, was reduced to a single round of jumps after high winds pushed back the schedule.

Kobayashi leads the World Cup standings with 260 points after the third event of the season. He was third in the season opener in Wisla, Poland earlier this month.

Among the other Japanese competitors, Kobayashi’s brother Junshiro finished 18th; Naoki Nakamura was 23rd; Daiki Ito placed 32nd and Noriaki Kasai was 38th.

Ryoyu is known as the more free spirited of the Kobayashi brothers. Their father, Hironori, recalled a day after practice when Kobayashi, yelling out with glee, performed a somersault after skiing off a snowboard ramp.

“He was a kid who wanted to make people laugh and get them excited,” Hironori said.

Junshiro, on the other hand, is known for his calm demeanor.

“The good thing about him is he doesn’t do any flashy performance and he doesn’t have any mood swings,” said Masao Hiraki, 79, who trained the elder brother in high school.