Defending champion Stoch wins 1st stop on Four Hills tour

OBERSTDORF, Germany (AP) Defending champion Kamil Stoch saved his best for last to win the first ski jumping World Cup of the 66th Four Hills Tournament on Saturday.

The Pole was fourth after a jump of 126 meters with his first attempt in Oberstdorf but soared 137 meters with his second for a total of 279.7 points, beating Germany’s Richard Freitag by 4.2 points.

Overall World Cup leader Freitag was second in both jumps with distances of 128.5 and 127 meters.

Dawid Kubacki ensured there were two Polish athletes on the podium by claiming third with jumps of 126.5 and 129 meters for 270.1 points.

Austria’s Stefan Kraft was fourth, ahead of another Polish jumper, Stefan Hula.

Freitag leads the overall standings after eight of 23 events with 630 points. He is ahead of German teammate Andreas Wellinger – 10th in Oberstdorf – on 425. Stoch is next on 423.

The Four Hills Tournament continues at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany on Jan. 1.