Junshiro Kobayashi takes his first win

13 September 2015 16:27
Stefan Kraft, Junshiro Kobayashi, Kento Sakuyama
Stefan Kraft, Junshiro Kobayashi, Kento Sakuyama -

Junshiro Kobayashi surprisingly won the second competition at the FIS Grand Prix in Almaty, Kazakhstan. With jumps on 133.5 m and 134 m, the Japanese came in ahead of Stefan Kraft and his teammate Kento Sakuyama. It was the first win in the Grand Prix for Kobayashi.

Kobayashi said: "The conditions in the first round were a bit difficult, in the second round I had good conditions and I'm very happy about the win."

Stefan Kraft, the winner of Saturday's competition, jumped on 133 m and 130.5 m and missed his second win this weekend by 4.1 points. The Austrian told later: "It was a very fair competition today and the best three athletes are on the podium. Yesterday I had two perfect jumps, today I was a bit late at the take-off in my first jump. I'm absolutely satisfied with this weekend, it was perfect for me. I'm already looking forward to coming to Almaty again in winter. I like this place and the hill a lot."

Overall Grand Prix leader Kento Sakuyama, who was in the lead after the first round with the longest jump of the day on 136.5 m, jumped on 129 m in the final and finished third with 259.7 points. With this result Sakuyama secured the overall title of the FIS Grand Prix already before the final event. Sakuyama said: "I don't really feel like the overall winner right now, maybe this will come later. It went really well for me right from the beginning this summer. My jumps are getting more and more consistent. Now I have to focus on the training, so I can jump that well also in winter."

Extremely strong Japanese

Yumu Harada, fourth with 133 m and 136 m and 256.9 points, and Kenshiro Ito (253.9 points) in seventh completed the outstanding team result for Japan. It was also a great day for Swiss Luca Egloff, who finished on a career best fifth place with his total of 256.1 points.

Best Slovene was Anze Semenic in sixth with 254.3 points, Robert Kranjec, fourth after the first round, finished only 19th overall. Ville Larinto came in on a good eighth place for Finland, behind Jaka Hvala (251.0 points), Manuel Poppinger (250.3 points) completed the Top 10.

While Manuel Fettner can be satisfied with his eleventh place, his teammate Thomas Diethart failed to qualify for the final round in 31st.

Bad day for Hazetdinov and Deschwanden

Behind Anze Lanisek, Shohei Tochimoto and Matjaz Pungertar, Denis Kornilov was the best Russian in 15th. Ilmir Hazetdinov was disqualified in the final round because his suit was not compliant to the rules. Hazetdinov was on a good fifth place after the first round.

Bad luck Gregor Deschwanden today. He was 11th after the first round, but could not jump in the final due to problems with his bindings. Davide Bresadola and Alex Insam achieved good results for Italy in 16th and 18th, like on Saturday, Radik Zhaparov could score points for the hosts in 23rd.

Best German was Daniel Wenig in 24th, followed by his teammates Tim Heinrich and Dominik Maylaender. Seou Choi scored three points for the Korean team in 28th.

Sakuyama takes overall title

With his total of 525 points, Kento Sakuyama already won the overall title before the final event in Hinzenbach two weeks from now. Robert Kranjec is second with 349 points, seven points ahead of Norway's Kenneth Gangnes. Severin Freund (280 points) and Dawid Kubacki (249 points) follow in fourth and fifth.