Olympics-Ski jumper Kobayashi in peak form for Olympics with third win

FILE PHOTO: Ski Jumping - Ski Jumping World Cup 2021 - Klingenthal, Germany - December 12, 2021  Japan
FILE PHOTO: Ski Jumping - Ski Jumping World Cup 2021 - Klingenthal, Germany - December 12, 2021 Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi celebrates with trophy on the podium after winning the men's HS 140 REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

(Reuters) - Japanese ski jumper Ryoyu Kobayashi announced himself as a top contender for a medal at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics by winning his third World Cup event of the season in Engelberg, Switzerland, over the weekend.

The 25-year-old, who had COVID-19 this year and missed two events, overcame difficult conditions on Sunday to finish ahead of Germany's Karl Geiger, who had prevailed a day earlier, and Norway's Marius Lindvik, in a dramatic final round.

"The conditions today were a bit difficult, but I managed to stay focused and didn't worry about it that much and so my jumps were really good," Kobayashi, who scored 306 points after jumps of 132.5 metres and 136.5 metres, said.

Kobayashi finished 12.2 points ahead of Geiger to seal the 22nd World Cup victory of his career and third in Engelberg to hit top form before the prestigious Four Hills Tournament in Obersdorf, Germany, on Dec. 29.

In 2018-19, Kobayashi won 13 World Cup events and all six World Cup individual categories, including the overall title, ski flying title and the Four Hills Tournament.

Geiger, another favourite for the Four Hills Tournament, said he was pleased with his own effort.

"My jumps yesterday (Saturday) were a little bit better, but the competition was on a very high level and I'm very satisfied with the second place," Geiger said.

"Now I'm looking forward to my home competition, but first I want to enjoy Christmas and recharge the batteries."

The Winter Olympics are on Feb. 4-20.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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