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Granerud is once again unstoppable; Ito leads the first ever Japanese sweep

origin 1(LR) Japanese runner-up Ryoyu Kobyashi, Norwegian winner Halvor Egner Granerud and Norwegian third-placed Daniel Andre Tande celebrate on the podium after the men’s big ascent of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in Willingen. Swen Pförtner/dpa

Norway’s Halvor Egner Granerud continued his dominance of the men’s Ski Jumping World Cup with a fourth straight win and ninth of the season after Yuki Ito led Japan’s first-ever podium on the women’s side on Sunday in Germany.

Four Hills champion Granerud climbed 147.5m and 142m for consecutive victories within 24 hours on the world’s largest hill in Willingen.

Granerud finished more than 20 points ahead of Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi, and Daniel Andre Tande finished third for Norway.

Ito previously logged 137 and 135.5 meters on the same hill for her first win in nearly six years and sixth overall, ahead of teammates Nozomi Maruyama and Sara Takanashi.

Saturday’s winner Katharina Althaus finished eighth in front of her German home crowd and Austrian World Cup leader Eva Pinkelnig finished thirteenth.

The competition was overshadowed by Jenny Rautionaho’s heavy fall, but the Finnish jumper would not sustain any serious injuries.

Julian Schmid, meanwhile, won a big uphill Nordic combined race on German soil when he prevailed in a dramatic sprint finish of the 10km cross-country pursuit in Oberstdorf after a morning ski jump.

Schmid took his third win of the season and in his career ahead of Norway’s Jens Luraas Oftebro and jump leader Franz-Josef Rehrl, who was caught by three pursuers shortly before the finish, but at least beat the Austrian World Cup leader Johannes Lamparter for third place.

In another Nordic action, Norway won a women’s 4×7.5km cross-country relay in Dobbiaco, Italy, ahead of Sweden and the United States.

Germany originally finished second for a first relay podium finish since 2017, but were disqualified because they registered Sofie Krehl too late as anchor skier in place of the not quite fit Coletta Rydzek.

The men’s relay saw Italy beat Sweden and Norway for victory in what was the final cross-country race before the Nordic World Ski Championships in Planica, Slovenia, which kicks off on February 23.

origin 1Norway’s Halvor Egner Granerud celebrates on the podium after the men’s large hill of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in Willingen. Swen Pförtner/dpa
origin 1Norway’s Halvor Egner Granerud in action during the men’s large hill of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in Willingen. Swen Pförtner/dpa