SKI JUMPING: Kobayashi completes Four Hills sweep with win in Bischofshofen!

Japan's Ryoyu Kabayashi celebrates his Four Hills sweep! (Photo: FIS)

In the first 65 editions of the Four Hills Tournament, only Germany’s Sven Hannawald had managed to win the sport’s “Grand Slam” by winning all four competitions, back in 2001-02.

Then, last season, Poland’s Kamil Stoch managed it and now, 22-year-old Japanese phenom Ryoyu Kobayashi did it again!

The dominating presence on the World Cup this season, Kobayashi had only a modest lead after the first two legs in Obertsdorf and Garmisch, but he had everything working in Innsbruck and Bischofshofen on the weekend.

In Innsbruck, he won by almost 13 points over 2014-15 Four Hills winner Stefan Kraft (AUT) and came into Sunday’s event needing one more win for history.

He was trailing in Bischofshofen after the first jump, having reached 135.0 m and scoring 136.1 points, leaving him in fourth place. But he came through on his second try, flying out to 137.5 m and scoring a sensational 146.0 points for the win. He had the longest jump and easily the highest score in the final round and it propelled him to a 282.1-268.3 win over Dawid Kubacki (POL) and history.

“After my second jump I was just waiting, because I had given my all already,” Kobayashi said afterwards. “I’m very happy about my win, it’s unbelievable.”

He’s the third Japanese winner of the Four Hills, after Yukio Kasaya in 1971-72, and Kazuyoshi Funaki, in 1997-98. And he is also the clear leader in the overall World Cup, after 12 of the 29 competitions, with 956 points to just 529 for second-place Piotr Zyla (POL). Wow! Summaries:

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup/Four Hills Tournament
Innsbruck (AUT) ~ 4 January 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s 130 m hill: 1. Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN), 267.0; 2. Stefan Kraft (AUT), 254.2; 3. Andreas StJernen (NOR), 242.7; 4. Stephan Leyhe (GER), 239.1; 5. Kamil Stoch (POL), 234.1.

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup/Four Hills Tournament
Bischofshofen (AUT) ~ 6 January 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s 140 m hill: 1. Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN), 282.1; 2. Dawid Kubacki (POL), 268.3; 3. Stefan Kraft (AUT), 267.5; 4. Stephan Leyhe (GER), 266.0; 5. Markus Eisenbichler (GER), 265.5.

Four Hills Tournament final standings: 1. Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN), 1,098.0; 2. Markus Eisenbichler (GER), 1,035.9; 3. Stephen Leyhe (GER), 1,014.1; 4. Dawid Kubacki (POL), 1,010.8; 5. Roman Koudelka (CZE), 1,006.3.