Japanese ski jumper Ryoyu Kobayashi lived up to sky-high expectations by producing a dominant performance to claim gold in the men's normal hill event at Beijing 2022.
Kobayashi held a big lead after a near-perfect jump in the first round and then did enough with his second effort to hold off Austria's Manuel Fettner for the gold. Kobayashi finished with 275.0 points ahead of Fettner in second with 270.8. Poland’s Dawid Kubacki took home bronze.
Kobayashi has been a dominant force on the ski jumping World Cup, becoming only the third man in history to win all four events of the Four Hills tournament in 2019. And he did most of the hard work in achieving his first Olympic gold medal with a superb first jump that saw him record 145.4 points and a distance of 104.5 metres to go first in the standings.
Lindvik stuns Kobayashi to take ski jumping gold in the large hill
It blew previous leader Peter Prevec out of the water, after the Slovenian earned 139.2 points with a jump of 103 metres.
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Prevec missed out on a podium finish by finishing just 0.5 points behind Kubacki, as his eighth-place finish in the final round ultimately cost the Slovenian a medal.
As for Kobayashi, he had the advantage of going last in the final round, and registered a score of 129.6 to reach that final tally of 275.0 points.
He became the first Japanese ski jumper to win Olympic gold in the normal hill event in 40 years.
'The Japanese explode with joy' - Kobayashi secures ski jumping gold in style
Defending champion Andreas Wellinger of Germany missed the Games after a recent positive Covid-19 test ended his chances of qualifying.
Ski jumping returns to the Olympic schedule on Monday with the mixed team competition.
Stream the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games live and on demand on discovery+
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Lindvik dominates ski jump in Zakopane
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