SKI JUMPING: Kobayashi clinches World Cup season title as Raw Air Tournament revs up

Japan's World Cup champion Ryoyu Kobayashi

The remarkable rise of 22-year-old Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN) has been confirmed as he has clinched the seasonal World Cup title after a third-place performance in the Lillehammer World Cup on Tuesday.

Kobayashi’s consistency, with medals in 10 of the 17 events since New Year’s, has him with an unbeatable total of 1,725 points. With four scoring events left, he can’t be caught by second-place Kamil Stoch (POL), with 1,215.

At the same time, the “Raw Air Tournament” – a combination of the 10 jumps, including all of the qualifying events, held in the competitions in Oslo (3), Lillehammer (2), Trondheim (2) and Vikersund (3) – has reached the halfway mark. Norway’s Robert Johansson has the lead so far, with 950.3 points to 937.4 for Stefan Kraft (AUT) and Kobayashi (921.4). The remaining schedule:

13 March: Trondheim ~ 140 m hill/Prologue
14 March: Trondheim ~ 140 m hill/World Cup
15 March: Vikersund ~ 240 m hill/Prologue
16 March: Vikersund ~ 240 m hill/Team Event
17 March: Vikersund ~ 240 m hill/World Cup

The women’s competition is still in doubt, even with Norway’s Maren Lundby scoring her 12th win in 19 events this season in Lillehammer on Tuesday. She now has 1,513 points to 1,213 points for Germany’s Katharina Althaus – with three wins and six silver medals – with five events remaining.

The first Raw Air Tournament for women is underway with four of six events completed. Lundby has the lead at 745.0 points, followed by Althaus (725.9) and Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT: 696.4). The women will jump off the 140 m hill in Trondheim, but not the 240 m ski-flying hill at Vikersund.

Instead, the women will compete on the weekend at Nizhny Tagil (RUS) off a 100 m hill, part of a new series in 2019, the Russian Blue Bird Tour. It’s the first time back at this venue for the women in a couple of years; Lundby and Sara Takanashi (JPN) won the kast two jumps held there, in December 2016.

Look for this week’s results here. Summaries from Lillehammer:

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup
Lillehammer (NOR) ~ 11-12 March 2019
(Full results here)

Men (140 m hill): 1. Stefan Kraft (AUT), 285,7; 2. Robert Johansson (NOR), 273.3; 3. Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN), 261.7; 4. Kamil Stoch (POL), 260.2; 5. Johann Andre Forfang (NOR), 254.1.

Women (140 m hill): 1. Maren Lundby (NOR), 271.7; 2. Katharina Althaus (GER), 267.7; 3. Eva Pinkelnig (AUT), 255.9; 4. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT), 248.7; 5. Juliane Seyfarth (GER), 246.0.