PARIS – Ryoyu Kobayashi warmed up for the defense of his Four Hills ski jumping title with a victory in Klingenthal, Germany, on Sunday that gave him the World Cup lead.
The 23-year-old, who last season became just the third man to complete a Four Hills clean-sweep, held off Austria’s Stefan Kraft and Marius Lindvik of Norway to claim the title on the German hill.
“I was able to make two very good jumps and of course I’m very happy about the win today. But I don’t think about the result at all, I just focus on showing good jumps,” said Kobayashi, the only Japanese winner of the Four Hills.
“Of course, I would love to win the Four Hills tournament again this year, but as I said, I only focus on my jumps, not on results.”
Kobayashi now leads the overall World Cup standings with 290 points ahead of Kraft, who has 276. Kobayashi is the reigning champion on the World Cup circuit.
Norway’s Daniel Andre Tande, 18th on Sunday, is now third in the overall rankings with 273 points.
For Kobayashi, it was his 14th World Cup win — the other 13 all came last winter.
The World Cup continues next weekend in Engelberg, Switzerland, before the Four Hills starts with qualification in Oberstdorf, Germany, on Dec. 28.