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Ryoyu Kobayashi closes out season with 13th victory

Star becomes first Japanese man to win overall ski jumping World Cup crown

Kyodo

Newly crowned World Cup ski jumping champion Ryoyu Kobayashi earned his 13th victory in Sunday’s season finale in Slovenia.

The 22-year-old totaled 464.9 points on his two jumps to win the season’s 28th event handily over Slovene Domen Prevc, who was second with 444.0, and Germany’s Markus Eisenbichler, who was third with 442.5.

Kobayashi traveled 252 meters on his first jump, surpassing his own Japanese distance record by four meters.

“I thought I’d done well enough this season already, so I just wanted to finish with one really good jump,” said Kobayashi, who punched the air with his fist repeatedly after nailing his landing.

Kobayashi’s win total is the highest since Slovene Peter Prevc, the runner-up’s older brother, won 15 in the 2015-2016 season.

Prior to his victory in the season’s second event in November, Kobayashi had never won on the World Cup circuit. He then became just the third skier in history to make a clean sweep of the prestigious Four Hills Tournament and tied a record by winning six straight World Cup competitions.

He is the first Japanese man to win the Crystal Globe trophy as the overall World Cup champion, although compatriot Sara Takanashi, also 22, has won the women’s championship four times.