Ski jumping: Stoch wins in Lillehammer, takes Raw Air lead

Kamil Stoch won the ski jumping World Cup event held in Lillehammer, Norway, thus taking the lead halfway through the Raw Air series.

The 32-year-old Pole was third after the first round, but his outstanding 139.5 metre long effort elevated him to first place, as the jumps by his compatriot Dawid Kubacki and the Slovenian Timi Zajc were not long enough to stop Stoch from his third World Cup victory this season.

After a promising first jump, Dawid Kubacki ultimately fell to eighth place. Piotr Żyła was 26th, while Maciej Kot came 28th.

By notching up a triumph in Norway, Stoch caught up with the legendary Janne Ahonen in terms of total World Cup events won. Each of them pulled off 36 victories, with only Adam Małysz (39), Matti Nykänen (46) and Gregor Schlierenzauer (53) having won more times.

Kamil Stoch also took the Raw Air series lead - an extremely tough competition where every single jump matters. Over a span of ten days, athletes take 16 jumps in qualifying rounds, individual and team contests, so even a slight fluctuation of form may affect their final position.

On Thursday, ski jumpers will compete in the penultimate World Cup individual contest this season in Trondheim. A ski flying team event is scheduled for Saturday in Vikersund, while the competition concluding individual series will take place on Sunday. Stefan Kraft from Austria needs only 61 points gathered in the course of two events to seal his second World Cup overall triumph. Dawid Kubacki still has a chance of finishing on the rostrum, as he is currently fourth, nine points behind Ryoyu Kobayashi. Kamil Stoch is fifth, unlikely to move up the standings further.