Ryoyu Kobayashi also proved his currently outstanding shape in the second competition of the weekend in Ruka (FIN). The Japanese won on Sunday evening ahead of the two Olympic champions Andreas Wellinger and Kamil Stoch.
It was one of the most exciting Ski Jumping competitions of the recent years. Lots of world-class performances and at the end the new high-flyer Ryoyu Kobayashi of Japan provided the icing on the cake.
The fans will definitely remember Sunday competition in Ruka 2018 for a long time.
The athletes showed one outstanding jump after the other in the final round and then there was the nail-biter of the Top 3: First, a world-class jump of Kamil Stoch (third after the first round) of 144 m, the three-time Olympic champion put lots of pressure on the following jumper Andreas Wellinger.
Wellinger kept his cool and showed a fantastic jump of 145.5 m - Amazing. Wellinger took the lead and ended his long dry spell which began after the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. Wellinger had secured the second place. The only one left at the start was the first-round leader and yesterday's winner Ryoyu Kobayashi. Pure excitement. Kobayashi also needed a perfect jump in order to defend his lead ahead of Wellinger.
Hideharu Miyahira, the Japanese head coach, decided to move down the start bar. Stoch and Wellinger started from gate 10, Kobayashi from gate 8.
Ryoyu Kobayashi showed an outstanding jump despite the lower gate - and he jumped right into the history books. Kobayashi even had to land his jump early but still tied the hill record of 147.5 m. Kobayashi really put on a show in Ruka that has never been seen before by a 22-year-old who had just claimed his first World Cup win a day earlier. "This is unbelievable", Kobayashi was looking for words. The 22-year-old, who won twice at the FIS Grand Prix in Hakuba (JPN) this summer, seemed to be impressed by his own strength.
"This was a great competition. I'm absolutely satisfied with my jumps, this was a big step in the right direction for me", said second-placed Andreas Wellinger.
Domen Prevc repeated his fourth place from yesterday and was again the best of the Slovenes, his teammate Timi Zajc also showed another convincing performance and was 11th. With Stephan Leyhe and Karl Geiger in sixth and eighth two more Germans, besides Andreas Wellinger, finished in the Top 10, Richard Freitag completed the strong team result in 14th.
Robert Johansson was seventh and, like on Saturday, the best of the Norwegians, his teammate Johann Andre Forfang followed not far behind in ninth. Once again it didn't go that well for the Austrians. Best athlete of the team of head coach Andreas Felder was Stefan Kraft in tenth, Gregor Schlierenzauer, who was their best in 12th yesterday, failed to make the cut in the qualification and Michael Hayboeck shared the same fate today.
Young Estonian Artti Aigro provided the surprise of the day. The 19-year-old was even 13th after the first round, he then lost some ground in the final but with the 19th place he still achieved the by far best result of his career and scored his first ever World Cup points.
Ryoyu Kobayashi now leads the overall World Cup with 260 points. Kamil Stoch (190 points) and Piotr Zyla (145 points) are second and third.
The next two World Cup competitions will be held next weekend in Nizhny Tagil (RUS).