Austria's Stefan Kraft could follow up on his strong performances from last weekend in Zakopane in the first qualification of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in Sapporo. Kraft won the round with a jump of 125.5 m ahead of Kamil Stoch of Poland and local hero Ryoyu Kobayashi.
In partly heavy snowfall earlier today, the start of the training and the qualification in Sapporo had to be postponed. Again and again, the landing area of the Okurayama hill had to be cleared of the fresh snow.
Austrian Jan Hoerl then caused a stir in the qualification. First, with the longest jump of the day of 135 m and the with a crash after the landing. But the good news came right away: Hoerl signaled "everything okay" right after his fall.
There were various short breaks during the course of the qualification, but they did not affect today's result.
Stoch strong despite a cold
Besides the winner Stefan Kraft, also Kamil Stoch, who skipped the training round because he is suffering from a cold, showed a convincing performance with a strong jump. In his first appearance at home as a superstar, Ryoyu Kobayashi presented himself very well. The 4-Hills-Tournament winner came in third and is one of the top contenders for a win in the two competitions this weekend.
It was also a good day for the Germans. Markus Eisenbichler and Stephan Leyhe finished fourth and fifth, Karl Geiger was 11th. From a German point of view, the usual suspects were among the best once again. Andreas Wellinger was 21st, Felix Hoffmann 28th, and Moritz Baer 40th. The entire team qualified, mission accomplished on day 1 in Sapporo.
It didn't go that well for Norway's Johann Andre Forfang and Slovenia's Tilen Bartol. Both failed the make the cut for the competition on Saturday at 4 pm local time (8 am CET).