The world's best ski jumpers ended their 2018/19 season with an amazing Ski Flying festival on the HS 240 hill in Planica (SLO). More than 60 000 fans came to see the Ski Flying competitions in bright sunshine. And like so often this winter, Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi came out on top. The 22-year-old won this season's final competition ahead of local hero Domen Prevc and Germany's Markus Eisenbichler.
With his win today, Kobayashi also took the small crystal globe for the world's best ski flyer and the overall win of the Planica 7. Kobayashi dominated this season like only a few athletes could do before him. Kobayashi won 13 World Cups this winter and scored a total of 2085 World Cup points. He won the 4-Hills-Tournament with the Grand Slam, the Willingen 5, the Raw Air and now also the Ski Flying World Cup and the Planica 7.
In addition to all that, the highflyer set a new hill record on the Ski Flying hill in Planica with 252 m. "I had a good take-off and good conditions at the bottom of the hill. It was a very good feeling to set a new hill record. I never thought I would be able to keep the focus for so long and remain on such a high level during the entire season. I can't tell you what was the secret for all the success. After the season I will try to get as much rest as I can, but I will probably be very busy", explained Kobayashi.
Markus Eisenbichler closely missed his goal of winning the Ski Flying World Cup. He was third today and came in second in the overall ranking, 36 points behind Ryoyu Kobayashi. "In the first round, I knew that the conditions were good and I wanted to make a good jump. But I had some problems at the take-off and lost a lot of energy and speed in the first part of the flight. In the second round, I just wanted to enjoy the final jump of the season. It was a great weekend for me and I'm happy about that. Now I need some time at home to let everything sink in. I was in a good shape this winter and enjoyed Ski Jumping, I think that this was the key to success", said Eisenbichler, who finished seventh in the overall World Cup.
Domen Prevc came in second in today's competition with two top jumps of 239.5 m and 222.5 m. Piotr Zyla finished third in the Ski Flying World Cup behind Kobayashi and Eisenbichler.
The second place in the overall World Cup went to Austria's Stefan Kraft, who could not meet his own expectations in Planica with the places 14 and 17. "Even if I would have wanted a different end of the season, it still was my second-best season ever. The WSC at home were the huge goal and I'm extremely happy that I could win three medals there. It's also my sixth year with a Top 10 finish in the overall World Cup, the third podium. Kobayashi was simply unbeatable this season", said Kraft.
Poland's Kamil Stoch finished third in the overall World Cup and won the Nations Cup title together with the strong Polish team. "The season was quite tough with a lot of competitions. Ryoyu was outstanding and it's incredible that he could be in such a good shape from the beginning to the end. He showed that it's possible to start well and finish at the highest level. I'm satisfied with the third place in the World Cup and we also won the Nations Cup", Kamil Stoch said after the competition.
While the athletes will now enjoy their well-deserved break, an interesting period will start for some of the coaches, who will start working with different teams or end their jobs.