Ski Jumping

Ryoyu Kobayashi takes Four Hills opener at Oberstdorf

After sweeping last season's competition, Japanese ace beats Karl Geiger to make it five tournament wins in a row

By Rory Jiwani ·

Ryoyu Kobayashi has done it again.

The Japanese became the third man in history to sweep the Four Hills Tournament last season, and he took his unbeaten run to five in Oberstdorf on Sunday (29 December).

Fresh from his victory in Engelberg last weekend, Kobayashi jumped out to a massive 138.0m in round one, establishing a lead of more than seven points over his rivals.

And the 23-year-old sealed victory with a leap of 134.0m, winning by over nine points from Germany's Karl Geiger and Dawid Kubacki of Poland.

Kobayashi's win saw him extend his ski jumping World Cup series lead to 113 points after eight events.

2019-20 Four Hills Oberstdorf Podium (L-R): runner-up Karl Geiger, winner Ryoyu Kobayashi, third-placed Dawid Kubacki

Kobayashi continues recent revival

Having dominated last season's World Cup, Kobayashi was slow to get going this campaign.

He did not score his first podium finish until the fourth event in Nizhny Tagil, Russia, but then took victory in Klingenthal to claim the series leader's yellow bib.

And his latest success made it three wins out of four in the past fortnight.

The hard work was done in round one with Kobayashi scoring 154.8 points, 7.7 ahead of Geiger.

Austria's Stefan Kraft, who was top in qualifying on Saturday, was third on 145.6.

But Kraft found himself knocked off the podium by PyeongChang 2018 team bronze medallist Kubacki whose jump of 133.0m resulted in a score of 150.9 which turned out to be the best in round two.

Geiger produced another solid jump to take the lead, but Kobayashi had plenty in hand.

The king of the hill scored 150.3 for a total of 305.1 compared to Geiger's 295.9 with Kubacki a further 1.2 behind.

No man has completed two Four Hills Grand Slams with Salt Lake City 2002 gold medallist Sven Hannawald (2001-02) and three-time Olympic champion Kamil Stoch (2017-18) the only other ski jumpers to achieve the feat.

Kobayashi continues his bid for further history at Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Wednesday (1 January).