It ain't over till the fat lady sings, and a Ski Jumping qualification is not over until Ryoyu Kobayashi jumps. In Predazzo, the 22-year-old Japanese could follow up on his winning streak of the past competitions and took a clear win in Friday's qualification.
Nothing and nobody can currently stop Ryoyu Kobayashi of Japan. Five days after his fantastic Grand Slam victory at the 67th 4-Hills-Tournament, Kobayashi also won the first qualification in Predazzo. He secured the win and the prize money of CHF 3000,- with the longest jump of the day of 134.5 m (146.5 points). Behind the Japanese, Stefan Kraft of Austria and Poland's Dawid Kubacki came in second and third. The first win for Kraft and Kubacki this season is long overdue, the only question is when Kobayashi will allow that to happen.
Robert Johansson and Kamil Stoch followed in fifth and sixth, both can achieve similar results in Saturday's competition.
Ups and downs for the German team
The German team can be satisfied with the places eight and nine for Stephan Leyhe and Karl Geiger, the bad news is that Markus Eisenbichler was disqualified. The second-best of the 4-Hills-Tournament did very well in training but was disqualified after the qualification because his jumping suit was too big. Noriaki Kasai of Japan benefited, he moved up from 51st to 50th and is now qualified for the competition.
Four Swiss qualified
It was a successful day for the team of Switzerland. Besides Simon Ammann and Kilian Peier, also the two youngsters Dominik Peter and Sandro Hauswirth made the cut for the competition.
On the other hand, today's qualification was a disappointment for Norway's Anders Fannemel and US American Kevin Bickner, who both failed to qualify. The hosts didn't have a lot to celebrate either: Out of the five Italians participating today, Alex Insam was the only one who could qualify.
The first of the two competitions in Predazzo starts on Saturday at 4 pm CET.