OBERSTDORF, Germany (AP) Stefan Kraft of Austria soared 139 meters in the first run and defended his lead in the second to win the opening leg of ski jumping’s 65th Four Hills Tour on Friday.
The 23-year-old Kraft, the 2015 tour winner, produced the longest jump of the day and followed up with another of 134.5 meters to finish with a total of 308 points, ahead of Kamil Stoch of Poland on 305.2.
”It’s unbelievable, simply mega cool. It’s one of my best days,” said Kraft, who also won in Oberstdorf two years ago.
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Double Olympic champion Stoch jumped 137 and 135 meters.
Another Austrian, Michael Hayboeck, was third with jumps of 135 and 133 meters for 296.2 points, ahead of Norway’s Daniel Andre Tande, who won the qualification on Friday. Kraft was second in qualification.
World Cup leader Domen Prevc could only manage 26th place and remains more than 50 points off the pace. But the 17-year-old Slovenian still leads the overall standings with 545 points, ahead of Tande on 432 and Kraft on 431.
There was also disappointment for Noriaki Kasai of Japan and four-time Olympic champion Simon Ammann of Switzerland. Both failed to qualify for the second jump.
The tour continues New Year’s Day at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, before moving on to Innsbruck and Bischofshofen in Austria.