Ryoyu Kobayashi ends Japan’s drought in men’s normal hill
Japan’s 50-year drought ended in Japan on Monday when Ryoyu Kobayashi captured his gold medal in the men’s normal hill final. With elegance and elite technique, it was clear why the two-time Four Hills Tournament champion failed to perform a stellar leap in the qualifying round. It was because he didn’t need it.
Kobayashi’s gold medal jump from the call table earned him 275.0 points overall. Jumping with supreme confidence, he can now add his first Olympic gold medal to his impressive career highlights. By pulling off a huge leap at the most important moment, Kobayashi proved that his mental and physical preparation for the Games had paid off.
austria Manuel Fettner won silver in the competition. Despite being ranked 18th in the 2021-22 World Cup standings, Fettner soared and earned 270.8 points overall. Poland Dawid Kubacki made his third Olympic appearance at the 2022 Games and won his second Olympic bronze medal.
Before Kobayashi’s dazzling gold medal leap, the competition got off to a rocky start. Performances of top qualified athletes like Norway Marius Lindvik and Robert Johansson finished the first round of the men’s individual normal hill right in the middle of the field in 16th and 17th. Join the Norwegians, Germany’s best World Cup champion Karl Geiger also missed the podium with 252.8 points in total between the first and the last lap.
Only the top 30 jumpers out of 50 in the first round qualified for the final and the Americans Casey Larson, Kevin Bickner, Decker Dean and Patrick Gasienica were among the athletes who did not reach the final. They finished the first round of competition in 39th, 43rd, 44th and 49th places.