Japan's Kobayashi starts Four Hills defence with win

Oberstdorf (Germany) (AFP) –


Ryoyu Kobayashi opened up his title defence by becoming the first Japanese ski jumper to win the opening leg of the annual Four Hills competition for the second year running in Oberstdorf, Germany on Sunday.

Kobayashi, 23, finished on 305.1 points ahead of local favourite Karl Geiger on 295.9 in second and Poland's Dawid Kubacki on 294.7 after the two jumps.

Last season Kobayashi became the first Japanese overall Four Hills winner since Kazuyoshi Funaki in 1998.

The next stage of the competition takes place at Garmisch-Partenkirchen on New Year's Day before moving to Innsbruck three days later and finishing in Bischofshofen on January 6.

Results from the Four Hills leg at Oberstdorf:

1. Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN) 305.1 pts (138metres + 134m)

2. Karl Geiger (GER) 295.9 (135m + 134m)

3. Dawid Kubacki (POL) 294.7 (132m +133m)

4. Stefan Kraft (AUT) 291.2 (131m + 132m)

5. Piotr Zyla (POL) 281.5 (132m + 129m)

6. Philipp Aschenwald (AUT) 280.3 (132.5m + 129.5m)

7. Yukiya Sato (JPN) 280.1 (129.5m + 132m)

8. Robert Johansson (NOR) 279.8 (134m + 130.5m)

9. Domen Prevc (SLO) 279.5 (129.5m + 134m)

10. Marius Lindvik (NOR) 278.5 (139m + 124.5m)

Four Hills overall standings:

1. Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN) 305 points

2. Karl Geiger (GER) 296

3. Dawid Kubacki (POL) 295

4. Stefan Kraft (AUT) 291

5. Piotr Zyla (POL) 282