Japan’s 22-year-old Ryoyu Kobayashi came to Ruka with the knowledge that he had been part of the winning team entry last season, and that he had earned his first individual World Cup medal with a third-place finish in Wisla (POL) last week.
But two wins in two days over a world-class field? “This is unbelievable,” he said.
And he had plenty of competition. On the second day’s competition, Germany’s Andreas Wellinger – the Normal Hill gold medalist at the PyeongChang Winter Games – blasted into the lead with a sensational jump of 145.5 m (477 feet), leaving only Kobayashi to challenge.
But he was up to it, sailing an amazing 147.5 m (484 feet) – equaling the hill record – on the final jump to win again.
Poland’s Kamil Stoch, the defending World Cup champion, finished second in the first competition and third in the second. But Kobayashi, who won bronze in the season opener in Wisla, is the only man who has won medals in all three events so far this season. Summaries:
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup
Ruka (FIN) ~ 24-25 November 2018
(Full results here)
Men I (142 m hill): 1. Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN), 142.0; 2. Kamil Stoch (POL), 139,9; 3. Piotr Zyla (POL), 135.0; 4. Domen Prevc (SLO), 133.6; 5. Karl Geiger (GER), 133.5.
Men II (142 m hill): 1. Kobayashi (JPN), 310.4; 2. Andreas Wellinger (GER), 288.4; 3. Stoch (POL), 285.4; 4. Prevc (SLO), 274.8; 5. Zyla (POL), 274.0.