Japan's Kobayashi wins Four Hills ski jump opener

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Ryoyu Kobayashi soared to victory in the first round of the Four Hills tournament (AFP/Christof STACHE) (Christof STACHE)

Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi won the first leg of the Four Hills ski-jumping tournament in the German resort of Oberstdorf on Wednesday.

Kobayashi, winner of the Four Hills in 2019 and a former overall World Cup champion, scored 302 points to record his fourth World Cup victory of the season as he eyes the Beijing Winter Olympics in February.

The 25-year-old Japanese beat the 299.2 points of Norway's Halvor Egner Granerud with another Norwegian, Robert Johansson, third on 298.6 points.

The shock of the day came when the reigning Four Hills champion and three-time winner Kamil Stoch of Poland failed to qualify for a second jump of the day and finished just 41st.

The next stage of the Four Hills is scheduled to take place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on January 1.

The final two legs are in the Austrian resorts of Innsbruck and Bischofshofen on January 4 and 6, respectively.

Tens of thousands of spectators normally gather for the event but it is taking place without fans this year because of measures taken by the local authorities to fight coronavirus.

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