• Kyodo

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Ryoyu Kobayashi won the ski flying World Cup event in Planica, Slovenia, on Thursday for his 19th victory on the tour, tying the record for most by a Japanese man in Nordic skiing.

With his 19th individual win, the 24-year-old Kobayashi drew level with Kenji Ogiwara, a three-time winner of the Nordic combined overall World Cup title, and Akito Watabe, a two-time Olympic silver medalist in Nordic combined.

“I felt better here than at any other (event) this season,” said Kobayashi, who in 2019 became the third ski jumper in history to sweep all four events at a Four Hills Tournament.

“I entered the competition feeling refreshed and calm. I think it was also good that I didn’t put too much pressure on myself,” he said after his most recent win in Slovenia.

Kobayashi missed out on an individual podium result at the Feb. 24-March 7 Nordic World Ski Championships but he won his third World Cup of the season Thursday, scoring 452.5 points behind jumps of 235.5 meters and 244.5 meters in the first of three individual World Cup rounds in Planica this season.

Germans Markus Eisenbichler and Karl Geiger finished second and third, respectively.

Kobayashi, Ogiwara and Watabe now share the Japan record in World Cup Nordic skiing events, comprised of the cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, ski jumping and biathlon disciplines.

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