The 21-year-old Japanese talent Ryoyu Kobayashi also won the second competition of the weekend in Hakuba (JPN). After Kobayashi took the first Grand Prix win of his career yesterday, the athlete of the Tsuchiya Home Ski Team confirmed this performance today in an impressive manner. With the longest jump of the day of 134.5 m and 131.5m (287.9 points), Kobayashi dominated the competition and came in 16 points ahead of second-placed Russian Evgeniy Klimov. Daniel Huber of Austria finished third.
Young hopeful trumps the competition
Ryoyu Kobayashi, the younger of the two Kobayashi brothers on the Japanese Ski Jumping team, is considered the biggest talent on the team for a while now and since this weekend not only the experts know why. Kobayashi earned a lead of more than 15 points with his first jump today and so he could follow the final jumps of the rest of the field from the start. Kobayashi presented himself so strong this weekend that he was unbeatable. "I was very relaxed and enjoyed jumping in front of the home crowd here in Hakuba this weekend and so I was able to show very good performances. My goal is now to remain in this shape also in winter and be the best jumper on the Japanese team", Kobayashi explained in the style of a champion.
Klimov makes history
Russia's Evgeniy Klimov made history today. With his second place, his fourth podium this summer, Klimov took the lead in the Grand Prix from Kamil Stoch (POL). He is now the first Russian ski jumper ever to lead the FIS Grand Prix. It's a perfect timing that the next event will take place in Chaikovsky (RUS) two weeks from now. "Everything was perfect for me today, my performance was better than yesterday. I hope I can defend the yellow leader's bib for as long as possible. Now I'm looking forward to good and interesting competitions in Chaikovsky", Klimov said after his strong performance.
Huber #1 of the Austrian team
Daniel Huber of Austria finished on a strong third place, which was his second podium this summer after he came in second in Courchevel (FRA). During the course of this summer, Huber became the number 1 jumper on the team of head coach Andreas Felder. "Japan was definitely worth the trip for me. I was struggling with the hill a bit, until that last jump today. The results were extremely good, and it's a good sign that I can achieve top 6 results even if the jumps are not perfect. I'm the number 1 on the team right now and it would be great if it continues like that in winter, also regarding the results", said Huber.
In contrast to the day before, the wind didn't play a role in today's competition, there were short periods of rain, but this didn't influence the outcome. Local hero Daiki Ito achieved yet another top result in fourth, Shohei Tochimoto was 11th, Taku Takeuchi 13th. The team of head coach Hideharu Miyahira is definitely making progress. It will be exciting to see what the Japanese athletes can do next winter, also because veteran Noriaki Kasai will then join the team again.
Best Slovene was Jurij Tepes in fifth. Tepes was sidelined due to a foot injury for some time and despite this long break from training he was able to show such a strong performance and was obviously happy about this result. Kilian Peier of Switzerland came in on a good sixth place, Andreas Wank was the best German in seventh.
Canada's Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes was close to a big surprise today. After the first round, he was en route to the podium in second, but the 27-year-old didn't make his best jump in the final and so he came in ninth overall. Still a good result, but more would have been possible for the Canadian this Saturday in Hakuba. Kevin Bickner of the USA finished tenth.
The next FIS Grand Prix will be held in Chaikovsky (RUS) in two weeks.
1. Ryoyu Kobayashi, Japan, 287.9 points
2. Evgeniy Klimov, Russia, 271.9 points
3. Daniel Huber, Austria, 269.8 points
GRAND PRIX Overall
1. Evgeniy Klimov, Russia - 365 points
2. Kamil Stoch, Poland - 300 points
3. Piotr Zyla, Poland - 230 points
NATIONS CUP Overall
1. Poland - 1312 points
2. Japan - 935 points
3. Germany - 777 points