A brilliant pair of jumps from Japanese superstar Ryoyu Kobayashi saw him edge Germany’s Markus Eisenbichler by the narrowest of margins win the second Four Hills event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and keep his Four Hills Grand Slam dream alive.
Kobayashi led after the opening round of face-off jumps so went last and watched as a number of the final jumpers struggled to tame the slope in Germany.
The Japanese star decided to play it safer with his starting point and landed a great jump that was just enough to beat Eisenbichler by just 10cm.
Lindvik stuns Kobayashi to take ski jumping gold in the large hill
Ryoyu Kobayashi lands brilliant jump to take opening round in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
It means Kobayashi stays top of the overall standings with two wins from two, with the tour now moving to Innsbruck with qualifying taking place on Monday and the competition itself on Tuesday. He also takes the yellow bib for the overall leader of the World Cup, overtaking Karl Geiger.
“Today it was really hard competition so I really liked to come out with the win,” Kobayashi said through his interpreter
“My first jump was a big jump and my second one was not as big but still a good one.”
Should Kobayashi complete the Grand Slam it will be the second of his career after doing so in the 2018-19 season. Remarkably it would be the third Grand Slam in the past five seasons.
Kobayashi delighted to win tough competition at Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Before that there had been just one Grand Slam in 64 years, Eurosport Germany pundit Sven Hannawald in 2001-02.
The star of the day might well have been Lovro Kos from Slovenia with the 22-year-old rising star putting in the best jump of the second round to take the first podium of his promising young career.
Elsewhere, the only other rider to really get to grips with the slope in the second jump was Norway’s Halvor Egner Granerud who came up 14 places to take a hugely impressive eighth position.
Earlier in the day there were some real shocks as two former winners, Dawid Kubacki and Kamil Stoch, failed to make it into the second round.
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