OBERSTDORF, GERMANY – Ryoyu Kobayashi secured his third World Cup win of the season on Sunday as the reigning overall title holder comfortably won the Four Hills Tournament opener in Oberstdorf.
Having become only the third jumper in history to sweep all four events at a Four Hills Tournament last year, the 23-year-old picked up where he left off by leaping 138 and 134 meters to score 305.1 points in the large hill event held in Germany. Local jumper Karl Geiger was second with 295.9.
“I’m happy. I was nervous, but could also concentrate,” said Kobayashi, who by adding a fifth win to his Four Hills clean sweep from last season matched a record set by Kamil Stoch from Poland and Germany’s Sven Hannawald.
“I’ve managed to put together two good jumps for the first time in a while. It’s been an enjoyable event,” he said.
Kobayashi, the first non-European to win the men’s World Cup overall title after winning 13 events last year, now has 16 World Cup victories in total and is just one shy of legend Noriaki Kasai for the most by a Japanese jumper.
Kobayashi’s compatriot Yukiya Sato, who has one win in eight events this season, finished seventh. Daiki Ito was 18th and Junshiro Kobayashi, Ryoyu’s elder brother, was 23rd.
The second leg of the weeklong Four Hills tournament — ski jumping’s most prestigious annual competition — will continue in Germany in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Austria in Innsbruck and Bischofshofen through Jan 6.