Markus Eisenbichler triumphed in the first of two individual competitions at the final International Ski Federation (FIS) Ski Jumping World Cup leg of the season in Planica.
The German, winner of three gold medals at this year's FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, including in the individual large hill, had finished second in qualification yesterday in Slovenia, with Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi topping the standings.
The duo tussled for victory today, Eisenbichler emerging as the winner to claim the first World Cup victory of his career.
He achieved a first round distance of 238.5 metres and backed up the effort by leaping 233m with his second jump.
Eisenbichler was rewarded with a tally of 445 points for their efforts on the ski flying hill.
It was enough to beat Kobayashi, as the World Cup winner was forced to settle for second place on 438.1 points.
The podium was completed by Poland’s Piotr Zyla, who finished with 437.3 points.
The result saw Eisenbichler assume the lead in the Planica 7 standings - a mini tournament which will decide a winner based on qualification, two competitions and performance in a team event.
The team event is due to take place tomorrow.
As well as the Planica 7, the Ski Flying World Cup title remains up for grabs with four events already held on the big hills so far this term.
Eisenbichler’s victory saw him move four points clear of Kobayashi, who dropped to second place prior to the final event on Sunday (March 24).
World Cup winner Maren Lundby led qualification at the final women’s competition of the season at Chaikovsky in Russia.
The Norwegian scored 107.9 points to top the standings, with Austria’s Eva Pinkelnig second on 106.3.
The top three was completed by Chiara Hoelzl, also of Austria, who scored 104.8 points.
The competition is scheduled to continue tomorrow.