Ryoyu Kobayashi remains the best athlete in the Ski Jumping World Cup. With a record lead of 26.5 points, Kobayashi claimed his sixth World Cup win in a row on Saturday evening in Predazzo (ITA). Poland's Dawid Kubacki and Kamil Stoch came in second and third.
It seems that the Grand Slam, four wins at the 4-Hills-Tournament, less than a week ago, was only the beginning for the 22-year-old Japanese Ryoyu Kobayashi. He took his next win on Saturday at the World Cup in Predazzo (ITA) and is now among the very few who could win six times in a row. So far only the two Finns Janne Ahonen and Matti Hautamaeki and the two Austrians Thomas Morgenstern and Gregor Schlierenzauer could achieve that. With another win on Sunday, the Japanese would be the first ski jumper ever to win seven World Cups in a row.
"This was a great competition, the conditions were good and my jumps worked well. It's an honor that my name is now mentioned in the same breath as these four great ski jumpers. Right now I don't think about the fact that tomorrow I can become the first ever to win seven World Cups in a row. I'm focusing on my jumps, I don't think about anything else", said the highflyer.
While Ryoyu Kobayashi is taking win after win, his opponents are getting desperate. "I think tomorrow we will lock Ryoyu up in one of the containers", Kamil Stoch said when talking about the dominance of the Japanese. "Maybe not every year, but every few years, there is an athlete who is outstanding and who is out of reach for his opponents. Right now this is Ryoyu. It's nice here in Predazzo, a lot of Polish people are living in this area and they came here to support us and we are grateful for that", said Stoch, who won the last World Cup (2012) and a World Championship title in Predazzo (2013).
"This second place is very motivating for me. I'll keep on working with a smile on my face. Ryoyu was far ahead of us today, but it doesn't matter to us. All we can do is work on our jumps and then we'll see if we can beat him", explained Dawid Kubacki, who was second today for the third time in his career. The 28-year-old is still waiting for his first World Cup win.
Stefan Kraft and Manuel Fettner in fourth and eighth secured a good team result for Austria, even if it was not enough for the top. Stephan Leyhe was the best of the Germans in fifth and confirmed his current position as a top jumper of the team. Markus Eisenbichler was disqualified in the qualification yesterday and could therefore not compete this time. David Siegel came in on a strong 14th place, Karl Geiger was 19th.
Best Slovene was Anze Semenic in tenth, Timi Zajc was 12th.
Ryoyu Kobayashi (1056 points) now has a lead of almost 500 points in the overall World Cup ranking over the two Poles Piotr Zyla (565 points) and Kamil Stoch (564 points).
The second competition in Predazzo starts on Sunday at 5 pm CET.