It was like two days ago at the kick-off jump in Oberstdorf: Ryoyu Kobayashi had again completed as the Last of his jump, and again, it was so scarce, that, on the basis of the displayed green line for the necessary leadership wide with the eye not was difficult to determine who had won. Again, kick-off winner Kobayashi and Markus Eisenbichler, who had become in Oberstdorf with 0.4 points behind the Second and now again in the front was?

So, 21,000 spectators waited for the Computer ausrechnete the result, so the Distance offset with the retention notes, at the time of landing and the wind points. And for a few seconds, it was quiet.

The result was again as in Oberstdorf: Kobayashi was just in the front, 1.9 points difference, it was this Time. The difference the wind made points. Iron Bichler had a slight updraft, got points deducted, Kobayashi jumped in the back of the wind and got the points credited.

The favorite, and his surprising Challenger

After four of eight jumps, the 67 has. Four-hills-tournament to a battle between Kobayashi and iron Bichler for the overall victory developed:

On the one hand, the 22-year-old Japanese, who had to Jump in front of the tour, four of the seven world Cup of the season won, and therefore already as a favorite on the Golden eagle was. And on the other hand, a 27-year-old German, who has won in his career, never before has a world Cup jumping and the front of the tour, no one was in the circle of favourites.

Behind for a while the first time nothing. Stefan Kraft, in Oberstdorf, from arbitration as a third party even on the Podium, after the first passage. Third in the overall standings of the Pole Dawid Kubacki, already has 23 points behind Kobayashi.

The crucial question for the coming days is: Kobayashi or iron Bichler?

What Kobayashi

For Kobayashi, the shooting star of the current season, the results speak: He won the first two to Jump to the tour at the end just yet, and he also leads the overall world Cup scores. He is the hunted. So far, he could handle this role. “Kobayashi is currently the Best,” said Germany’s national coach Werner Schuster. “But we’re close.”

Because Kobayashi is not so invincible, as the results suggest. In both Oberstdorf and Garmisch, he made in the second pass, a smaller error and was always with a minimum advantage before the iron Bichler. In the case of other Jump of the season, his lead was significantly larger. “Markus calls him, and the feeling Kobayashi, too,” Schuster said. “You can tell in the second rounds.”

Kobayashi now but questions whether he will Jump the tour overall, and maybe even all four, as before, only Sven hannawald and Kamil Stoch win could be made. “I don’t think of it. So far, I’m not,” said Kobayashi. Because he has just three points and is ahead by two. The are only about one and a half meters.

Markus Eisenbichler in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

What Eisenbichler speaks

iron bichlers strength seems to be at the moment that he jumps without thinking much of the hill. “I’m just kind of left,” he said. “I am glad, that I may as mitspringen the front. This is not a privilege for me, because it was always so.” Two second places can be an advantage because eisenbichler as the Challenger is under pressure. “For the Ego, it would have been nice to win the Jump,” Schuster said. “But for the tour victory, it is perhaps not so bad.”

iron Bichler is a bit reminiscent of the Austrians Thomas Diethart, winner of 2013/14 as outsiders surprising the tour. Also Diethart had won prior to the tour, not the world Cup, jumped up, but suddenly, with the naturalness of an Olympic champion.

more needs to be iron bichlers Motto jump as in the past. To change “something now, it would be the biggest mistake,” Schuster said. Iron bichlers weakness had been his inconstancy in the Competition. Four more jumps will mean the risk of a botched jump all the chances of losing. See Stefan Kraft.

The duel of the two goes on after a rest day in Innsbruck (Competition on Friday at 14 clock, live Ticker SPIEGEL ONLINE). Kobayashi is still favored, but iron Bichler believes in his Chance. “I know that I can jump well,” he said.

However, German tour ended in the past few years, twice in dreams: Severin Freund of 2016 and Richard Friday 2018 fell on the Bergisel. In Innsbruck, the distances are due to the slightly smaller hill in between the Top jumpers in the rule, is even lower.

If this is in the case of Kobayashi and iron Bichler at all possible.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.