SKI JUMPING: Kobayashi takes Four Hills opener in Obertsdorf

Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi

He did it again!

Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi had never won a World Cup event coming into the season. Now he has five wins in the eight events contested! And this was a big one, the opener of the 67th Four Hills Tournament in Obertsdorf (GER).

He crushed his first jump, reaching 138.5 m, the best of the first round. He was only seventh-best in the second round, but he had enough to hold off Germany’s Markus Eisenbichler, 282.3-281.9.

So now Kobayashi is the only one who can win all four stages, an accomplishment only done twice: last season by Poland’s Kamil Stoch (seventh on Sunday) and Sven Hannawald (GER), who managed it in 2001-02.

This is the 67th edition of the Four Hills, which started in 1953. In case you were wondering, a Japanese jumper has won before. Yukio Kasaya won in 1971-72 and Kazuyoshi Funaki won in 1997-98, taking three of the four events. The remainder of the Four Hills schedule:

2. Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER: 140 m hill) ~ 1 January
3. Innsbruck (AUT: 130 m hill) ~ 4 January
4. Bischofshofen (AUT: 140 m hill) ~ 6 January

Summaries from Obertsdorf:

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup/Four Hills Tournament
Obertsdorf (GER) ~ 30 December 2018
(Full results here)

Four Hills I (140 m hill): 1. Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN), 292.3; 2. Markus Eisenbichler (GER), 281.9; 3. Stefan Kraft (AUT), 280.5; 4. Andreas StJernen (NOR), 278.2; 5. Dawid Kubacki (POL), 269.8.