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Junshiro Kobayashi claims first World Cup win

Junshiro Kobayashi claims first World Cup win
By Sportsbeat

19/11/2017 at 16:05Updated 19/11/2017 at 21:07

There was a surprise on the cards at the opening ski jumping World Cup of the season as Japan's Junshiro Kobayashi earned his maiden win at the top level.

The 26-year-old edged out double Olympic champion and local hero Kamil Stoch to take victory in front of a lively crowd in Wisla, with Austria's Stefan Kraft third.

It had actually been Germany's Richard Freitag who had led after the first round but conditions were difficult for his final jump and he lost ground, eventually finishing outside the medals in fourth.

Kobayashi meanwhile moved up from second place after his final jump with distances of 124.0m and 126.5m from his two efforts seeing him receive 260.5 from the judges – and with it his first podium finish since November 2011.

Video - Kobayashi takes maiden World Cup win

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Stoch showed his class, recovering from a relatively weak first round effort of 121.0m by his own standards, to soar 129.5m on his second and move up from eighth to second on 258.2 points.

Kraft was third on 257.5 after jumps of 126.5m and 124.5m, with Freitag finishing on 253.1 points.

But the day was about Kobayashi who backed up two competition victories on this summer's FIS Grand Prix circuit by winning on Sunday.

He said: "Of course I'm very happy about this result, but I'm also surprised. I had two very good jumps today and in the final round I also had good conditions.

Stoch was also gracious in defeat to his Japanese rival. "I want to congratulate Junshiro, he was jumping really well today," he said.

"The hill was in a very good condition and the wind was okay. In my first jump I was a bit too late at the take-off, otherwise, an even better result might have been possible."

The second round of this winter's World Cup season takes place in Ruka/Kuusamo, Finland next weekend with both a team and individual competition once again.

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