The Four Hills Tournament (German: Vierschanzentournee) is in full swing and after the first two rounds in Obersdorf and Garmisch-Partenkichen, the ski jump show has now left Germany to make a stop in Austria. Today's event takes place in Insbruck and until yesterday's qualification it looked we were seeing a duel between the top favourite Ryoyu Kobayashi from Japan and the surprisingly strong German jumper Markus Eisenbichler.

Creative Commons photo Ckfirst

Eisenbichler der bisher noch nie ein Weltcup-Springen gewinnen konnte, wurde bei den ersten beiden Wettbewerben jeweils mit hauchdünnem Rückstand Zweiter hinter dem Japaner, der mit nur 2,3 Punkten Vorssprung die Tournee-Wertung anführt.

For a long time we hadn't witnessed such a good German jumper at the Four Hills Tournament and of course his team was already hoping for an overall victory, even if the strong Kobayashi, who is also clearly and unchallenged on 1st place in the World Cup, has to be defeated first. Not an easy task after looking at this winter's results.

In the world cup ranking Eisenbichler is far behind on rank 7 and the best German so far is Karl Geiger on rank 4, but he too already has no serious chances for the overall victory.

The second leg has started

As I said, until the qualification in Insbruck it looked as if the 27-year-old Eisenbichler could stand up to the Japanese who has been domination this winter's season. But Kobayashi was super cool as usual when doing his qualifying jump and is now in the lead with a jump to 126.5 metres. Eisenbichler, on the other hand, did not get his best day and didn't get such a smooth take-off and landed after "only" 116 meters. Place 32 and a very difficult starting position for the main event this Friday.

The best German on Thursday was Karl Geiger, who landed on 6th place, but in the overall ranking of the tour he will probably not be able to compete for victory.

But luckily not everything is lost yet and today Markus Eisenbichler can show again with good jumps if he is really on it this year and wants to jump to the very top of the Four Hills Tournament.

Finally on the weekend we will go to Bischofshofen, the fourth stop of the Four Hills Tournament where the overall winner will be crowned on Sunday.

Creative Common photo Krzysztof Sachmata

The big question is whether high-flyer Ryoyu Kobayashi will sail away from all his competitors again, or whether one or the other jumper will manage to intervene and stop the impressive run (or actually flight) of this young Japanese who is living the best season of his carreer.

So far, the 22-year-old Kobayashi hasn't shown that anyone or anything could make him fell nervous at this winter's Vierschanzentournee and he has already claimed his sixth individual victory this season and the third win in a row.

If he continues to jump so lightheartedly yet successful, not only the win of the tour but also the World Cup is within reach and he might be one of the jumpers to reckon with at this season's world cup as well.

Apparently this Japanese eagle has the most power in his wings this season. Let's see how far he can fly until the end of the winter.