Local hero Ryoyu Kobayashi surprisingly won the first of three Ski Jumping World Cups in Sapporo (JPN) on Friday. Kobayashi prevailed in a thrilling final with jumps on 135 and 130m metres (271.5 points) ahead of Dawid Kubacki from Poland (264.3) and Norway’s Halvor Egner Granerud (262.2 points).
“I would never have expected this, I am completely surprised. Today I benefited from the fact that I was able to train here in Sapporo for the past two weeks and I definitely had the necessary luck today that you just need on a day like this” explained Kobayashi. The overall World Cup winner of the past winter, who had rank 7 as his best result of the season in the current winter, was happy about his first top result after a winter that has been a mess so far.
Second and third place went to Dawid Kubacki and Halvor Egner Granerud, the two most dominant skiers of the current winter. In the end, Kubacki was 1.7 points ahead of his long-term rival, Granerud.
Thus Dawid Kubacki increased his lead in the overall World Cup to 1090 points to Granerud’s 956 points.
Kamil Stoch came in fourth, continuing his upward trend of the last weeks, Stefan Kraft was fifth ahead of the two Slovenians Anze Lanisek and Timi Zaic. Andreas Wellinger was eighth, behind him Daniel Andre Tande came in ninth and Gregor Deschwanden was happy about the targeted 10th place.
The second of three Ski Jumping World Cups in Sapporo starts on Saturday at 8:00 (16:00 local time).