STA, 22 March 2019 - Markus Eisenbichler of Germany won the first individual event of the Ski Jumping World Cup season finale at Slovenia's Planica on Friday, beating Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi, who has already secured overall win in the competition.
The reigning world champion on the large hill collected 445 points from the two jumps to earn his first win in the World Cup, beating the Japanese sensation by almost seven points.
The third place went to Piotr Žyla of Poland (437.3 points), who was followed by Timi Zajc, the best Slovenian in the World Cup this season, who set a personal best of 240m in the first round.
Eisenbichler now leads the ski flying standings one event to go with 311 points ahead of Kobayashi (307) and Žyla (239).
Zajc told reporters he was very happy despite missing on a podium finish, adding that Slovenia was among the favourites for Saturday's team event. "It makes sense to count on a podium finish tomorrow."
Related: All our stories on Planica, past and present, are here
"We showed last week that we can win the first place," he said referring to the team's win in Norway last week, adding that "we can do it if all four of us manage good jumps."
The announcement is realistic as Slovenia had two other representatives in the top 10 - Domen Prevc in fifth place and his older brother Peter in tenth.
The season finale events hosted by Planica will conclude with another individual event for Sunday.
* Results of Friday's Ski Jumping World Cup event at Planica:
2 Ryoyu Kobayashi (JAP) 438.1 (242.0/220.0) 3 Piotr Žyla (POL) 437.3 (242.0/234.0) 4 Timi Zajc (SLO) 422.5 (240.0/228.5) 5 Domen Prevc (SLO) 415.2 (233.5/224.0) 6 Simon Ammann (SUI) 411.6 (234.5/238.0) 7 Dawid Kubacki (POL) 405.5 (222.0/230.0) 8 Johann Andre Forfang (NOR) 405.4 (230.0/221.5) 9 Karl Geiger (GER) 404.7 (227.0/226.0) 10 Peter Prevc (SLO) 401.5 (225.5/226.5) ... 20 Anže Semenič (SLO) 371.6 (219.0/217.5) 29 Bor Pavlovčič (SLO) 354.1 (201.5/211.0) - Overall standings (28 of 29 events): 1 Ryoyu Kobayashi (JAP) 1,985 2 Stefan Kraft (AUT) 1,335 3 Kamil Stoch (POL) 1,264 4 Piotr Žyla (POL) 1,081 5 Robert Johansson (NOR) 959 6 Dawid Kubacki (POL) 948 7 Markus Eisenbichler (GER) 877 8 Johann Andre Forfang (NOR) 860 9 Timi Zajc (SLO) 788 10 Karl Geiger (GER) 729