VAL DI FIEMME, ITALY - Ryoyu Kobayashi added a sixth straight ski jumping World Cup win to his resume on Saturday in Italy.
The 22-year-old Kobayashi landed jumps of 135 and 136 meters to lead the pack with 315.0 points in Val Di Fiemme, becoming the fifth person to win six events in a row.
“I was able to relax and focus my mind,” Kobayashi said. “I’m very happy to stand alongside the legends (who won six straight World Cups). It’s starting to become natural for me to win and I’m getting a little used to it, so I want to be careful.”
It was his ninth victory on this season’s World Cup circuit, putting him equal with Masahiko Harada as the third-most successful male Japanese jumper.
Poland’s Dawid Kubacki finished second, 26.5 points behind Kobayashi, with his countryman Kamil Stoch in third. The win means Kobayashi extends his lead at the top of the standings to 491 points over Piotr Zyla, with the Polish jumper only finishing seventh on Saturday.
Kobayashi has a chance to improve on his lead during the second competition on the Predazzo jumping hill, which is scheduled to be held on Sunday. In it, he will attempt to become the first ski jumper ever to win seven consecutive World Cup events.
“Right now I don’t think about the fact that tomorrow I can become the first ever to win seven World Cups in a row. I’m focusing on my jumps, I don’t think about anything else”, Kobayashi said, according to the International Ski Federation.
When completing the Four Hills grand slam last weekend, Kobayashi also became the first Japanese overall champion at the prestigious tournament held on jumping hills in Germany and Austria since Kazuyoshi Funaki achieved the feat in 1997-1998.