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Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: Ryoyu Kobayashi wins normal hill competition

Ryoyu Kobayashi of Japan won Olympic ski jumping gold on the normal hill

Ryoyu Kobayashi Ski Jumping

Ryoyu Kobayashi (Source: Getty Images)



Updated: 6 Feb 2022 5:25 PM GMT

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

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. Three-time Olympic champion Kamil Stoch of Poland 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. For the first time at the Olympics, men and women will compete together in a mixed team event on Monday.

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