SKI JUMPING: Kobayashi equals all-time World Cup record of six consecutive wins

Japan's World Cup champion Ryoyu Kobayashi

The amazing story of 22-year-old Japanese star Ryoyu Kobayashi continued at Val di Fiemme, as he won his sixth straight World Cup event, overwhelming the field on Saturday on the 135 m hill and compiling 315.0 points to 288.5 for Poland Dawid Kubacki.

“This was a great competition, the conditions were good and my jumps worked well,” Kobayashi said afterwards. The FIS reported that his six-meet win streak equaled the World Cup record, done previously by Finns Janne Ahonen and Matti Hautamaeki and Austrians Thomas Morgenstern and Gregor Schlierenzauer.

“It’s an honor that my name is now mentioned in the same breath as these four great ski jumpers,” Kobayashi added. “Right now I don’t think about the fact that tomorrow I can become the first ever to win seven World Cups in a row. I’m focusing on my jumps, I don’t think about anything else.”

Well, he didn’t make it to seven on Sunday, finishing seventh in the event, while Kubacki, 28, earned his first career World Cup victory. “It was a pretty good day for me,” he said. I took my first win in the World Cup today, that’s something I have been working for for a long time. I’m really satisfied, that all this work is paying off.

“Before the final jump I knew I could win, so I was just focusing on what I have to do. When you are up there you don’t really know how the others were jumping, after the take-off you see the green line and if you made it or not.”

In the women’s events in Sapporo, Austria’s Daniela Iraschko-Stolz, now 35, won her 14th World Cup gold medal and her first ever outside of Europe. On Sunday, Norway’s Maren Lundby – the reigning World Cup champion – won her earned her first World Cup win of the season and the 14th of her career. For her, Sapporo is a friendly hill: the win was her fourth there, after a win in 2017 and two in 2018.

Germany’s Katharina Althaus is still the seasonal leader with 530 points after seven of 24 events, but Lundby is catching up, with 438. Summaries:

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup
Val di Fiemme (ITA) ~ 12-13 January 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s 135 m hill I: 1. Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN), 315.0; 2. Dawid Kubacki (POL), 288.5; 3. Kamil Stoch (POL), 282.9; 4. Stefan Kraft (AUT), 281.6; 5. Stephan Leyhe (GER), 275.1.

Men’s 135 m hill II: 1. Kubacki (POL), 271.1; 2. Kraft (AUT), 257.2; 3. Stoch (POL), 256.9; 4. Robert Johansson (NOR), 252.6; 5. David Siegel (GER), 251.9.

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup
Sapporo (JPN) ~ 12-13 January 2019
(Full results here)

Women’s 137 m hill I: 1. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT), 200.4; 2. Juliane Seyfarth (GER), 199.9; 3. Maren Lundby (NOR), 196.2; 4. Katharina Althaus (GER), 190.8; 5. Eva Pinkelnig (AUT), 183.3.

Women’s 137 m hill II: 1. Lundby (NOR), 229.8; 2. Althaus (GER), 210.5; 3. Seyfarth (GER), 206.5; 4. Pinkelig (AUT), 199.3; 5. Iraschko-Stolz (AUT), 190.6.