• Kyodo

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Ryoyu Kobayashi equaled Japan's record for most men's ski jumping World Cup wins on Saturday with his 17th career victory and his first of the season, drawing him level with veteran jumper Noriaki Kasai.

Kobayashi, the overall World Cup winner two seasons ago, sat fourth in Zakopane, Poland, after recording a 136.5-meter first jump. His second leap of 134.5 meters gave him a total of 268.9 points, enough to secure his first win since December 2019.

Andrzej Stekala of Poland finished just behind on 268.6 points, followed by Marius Lindvik of Norway in third on 267.8.

"I'm very happy. It's been a long time," the 24-year-old Kobayashi said. "There were several jumpers who made mistakes so luck was on my side a bit too."

"I made my World Cup debut on this hill (in Jan. 2016) and finished seventh, so I feel it hasn't been a bad one for me."

Kobayashi won 13 World Cup events, including his first, during the 2018-19 season as he became the first non-European to win the individual World Cup season title.

He won three events last season, while his previous best this season was sixth.

Kasai, the 48-year-old who made his World Cup debut in 1988, has competed in eight Winter Olympics. He last appeared at a World Cup event in February 2020.

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