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Ryoyu Kobayashi grabs third straight World Cup victory

Kyodo

Ryoyu Kobayashi claimed his third straight, and sixth overall, World Cup title Tuesday after sweeping the German legs of the 67th edition of the Four Hills Tournament.

Kobayashi recorded jumps of 136.5 and 133 meters at the large hill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to top the 50-man field with 266.6 points and tie Noriaki Kasai’s single-season record for most World Cup wins by a Japanese athlete.

“I was really nervous (on the second jump),” said Kobayashi, who pulled off a narrow victory at the tournament opener in Oberstdorf on Sunday.

“I don’t remember much, it’s just too good to be true. I was able to have a good jump and that’s really great.”

The 22-year-old Kobayashi, who has landed on the podium in eight of nine events this season, is on track to become the only other Japanese besides Kazuyoshi Funaki in 1997-1998 to claim an overall win at the Four Hills tournament.

Germany’s Markus Eisenbichler took second with 264.7, while Poland’s Dawid Kubacki was third with 256.2. Kobayashi’s older brother Junshiro finished fifth.

Among other Japanese, Daiki Ito finished 12th, Yukiya Sato was 17th and Naoki Nakamura was 26th.

Kobayashi, who has a 247-point lead in the World Cup standings, will attempt to become the third athlete in history to win all four legs of the annual tournament when the third leg begins in Austria on Friday. The fourth and final leg is on Sunday.