Ski Jumping: Japan's Kobayashi Wins 1st World Cup Gold

Ski jumping: Japan's Kobayashi wins 1st World Cup gold

Japan's Junshiro Kobayashi claimed the men's ski jumping title Sunday at the Nordic ski World Cup, topping the podium at the tournament for the first time.

Kobayashi, who was competing at his 63rd individual World Cup event, recorded leaps of 124.0 and 126.5 meters for a total of 260.5 points. Local favorite and Sochi Olympic double gold medalist Kamil Stoch (258.2) was runner-up and Austrian Stefan Kraft (257.7) was third.

Kobayashi became the 13th Japanese to win the men's jumping event at the World Cup, which was also the first since 45-year-old veteran Noriaki Kasai won the competition in November 2014.

The 26-year-old Kobayashi was second after his first jump, 1.3 points behind Richard Freitag of Germany. However, he made up for it in the second round when he jumped 6.5 meters further than the K point (120 meters).

"It was amazing. I'm surprised that everything went so well," said Kobayashi, whose best World Cup finish at an individual event was 13th. "I didn't do so well on my first jump, but I just tried leaping like I always do on the second. I think that worked out."

"I still have competitions left so it's difficult to stay in shape, but I want to do my best to post better results," Kobayashi said.