• Kyodo

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Ryoyu Kobayashi claimed his second victory of the season on Sunday to boost his prospects of retaining the overall World Cup title.

The 23-year-old reigning overall World Cup champion, who won last weekend at Klingenthal in Germany, overcame difficult conditions to record jumps of 132.5 and 134 meters at Gross-Titlis-Schanze in the Swiss resort town of Engelberg for his 15th career World Cup win.

Kobayashi moved into a tie for second on the all-time list for Japanese men, equaling Kazuyoshi Funaki’s record for individual World Cup victories. Noriaki Kasai tops the list with 17.

“I was focused on making good jumps more than winning. I wasn’t worried about the wind. I got lucky because the top contenders struggled,” Kobayashi said on a day strong winds forced organizers to cancel training.

“I know what I have to work on and I’ve been able to make the necessary adjustments. It’s looking good,” he said.

While Kobayashi moved up from seventh place after the first round to score a total of 272 points, Peter Prevc of Slovenia finished second with 263.1 points, and Austria’s Jan Hoerl was third with 262.

Kobayashi leads the overall ranking with 440 points, ahead of Austria’s Stefan Kraft, who has 369 and Germany’s Karl Geiger, who is third with 347.

The Dec. 21-22 event is the final test before the world-famous Four Hills Tournament, which takes place between Dec. 28, 2019, and Jan. 6, 2020. Four Hills starts with qualification in Oberstdorf, Germany.

Last season, Kobayashi became the third man to complete a Four Hills clean sweep.

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