AP

Ryoyu Kobayashi wins normal hill competition at Olympics

Feb 5, 2022, 2:56 PM | Updated: Feb 6, 2022, 6:24 am

silver medal winner, Manuel Fettner, of Austria, left, and bronze medal winner Dawid Kubacki, of Po...

silver medal winner, Manuel Fettner, of Austria, left, and bronze medal winner Dawid Kubacki, of Poland, right, pose with gold medal winner Ryoyu Kobayashi, of Japan, after the men's normal hill individual ski jumping event at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ZHANGJIAKOU, China (AP) — Ryoyu Kobayashi of Japan won Olympic ski jumping gold on the normal hill on Sunday, becoming the first from his country to win the event since Yukio Kasaya in 1972.

“Nothing special I was thinking about before, but I am so happy right now,” the 25-year-old Kobayashi said through an interpreter.

Kobayashi is only the third jumper from outside Europe to win gold in an individual ski jumping competition, an event that has been in the Winter Olympics since the first edition in 1924. The other two are Kasaya and another Japanese jumper, Kazuyoshi Funaki, who earned gold on the large hill at the 2018 Olympics.

Kobayashi jumped last and best, clearing 99.5 meters (326 feet) and had 129.6 points thanks to his graceful style from start to finish.

Manuel Fettner of Austria won silver and Dawid Kubacki of Poland earned bronze.

Four years ago in South Korea, Kobayashi finished seventh on the normal hill and sixth on the large hill. He entered the Beijing Games as one of the favorites as the second-ranked jumper in the world.

“I had only good feelings when I was performing,” he said. “At the last Olympics, I realized many things that I was missing so this time I did what I had to do. This is why I got the victory.”

The 36-year-old Fettner medaled at the Olympics for the first time. He became the second oldest to earn a spot on the podium in ski jumping, trailing only Noriaki Kasai of Japan, who won two medals in 2014 when he was 41.

“I’m very sure that it means much more to me than if I had won it 10 years ago,” Fettner said. “It was a long wait. Tough times. God times. But if you wait for something longer, then you can celebrate it.”

Kubacki joined three-time Olympic champion Kamil Stoch and Adam Malysz as Poles who have medaled on the normal hill.

“All of the hard work paid off, and that’s amazing,” Kubacki said.

Two-time ski jumping gold medalist Andreas Wellinger is missing from the Beijing Games because he tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Karl Geiger of Germany came to China as the No. 1 jumper in the World Cup standings and finished 15th.

“I’m not quite sure what exactly happened and why,” he said.

Stoch bounced back from an injured left leg and finished sixth, looking like he’s in good enough shape to possibly defend his large hill title on Saturday.

A pair of previous champions finished further back. Forty-year-old Simon Ammann of Switzerland was 25th and Robert Johansson of Norway was 20th.

With so many former champions in the field, Fettner said it meant a lot to him to win silver.

“Otherwise, I wouldn’t stand here and do this thing,” he said.

After the first round, Turkish ski jumper Fatih Arda Ipcioglu refused to say if the crescent and star on his blue skis was a statement in support of China’s Uyghur community. The design on the skis used Saturday seemingly represented East Turkestan, the region home to Uyghurs.

“I don’t want to answer about those questions,” Ipcioglu said Sunday.

Ipcioglu finished 36th in the 50-jumper field.

Human rights groups say the Beijing government has oppressed members of the Uyghur Muslim minority on a massive scale.

For the first time at the Olympics, men and women will compete together in a mixed team event on Monday.

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Ryoyu Kobayashi wins normal hill competition at Olympics