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Kraft wins ski jump World Cup round to take overall lead

March 12, 2017
Winner Stefan Kraft from Austria in action during the men's Raw Air HS134 jump at the Holmenkollen Ski festival, in Oslo, Sunday March 12, 2017. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)

OSLO, Norway (AP) — Austria’s Stefan Kraft soared to victory in Sunday’s round of the ski jumping World Cup and took the overall lead as his main title rival Kamil Stoch underperformed.

Kraft destroyed the rest of the field with a 132-meter second-round jump that lifted him into first place with a total score of 267.5 points on the Holmenkollbakken hill.

Andreas Wellinger had led after the first round, but could only manage 127 meters in the second for a 258.6 total. Fellow German Markus Eisenbichler was third on 244.1.

In a big boost to Kraft’s World Cup hopes, Stoch’s poor second jump dropped him from fifth to 22nd.

Kraft now leads the standings by 31 points ahead of a grueling run of three individual competitions and one team event next week.

Earlier, Yuki Ito led a Japanese one-two finish in the last round of the women’s World Cup. Ito posted the longest jump of the day with 130 meters as she won with a total score of 258.7 points from two rounds.

Ito’s Japanese teammate Sara Takanashi, who had already secured her fourth career World Cup overall title, was second on 251.

Norwegian Maren Lundby was in contention for the win after the first round, but her second-round score of 120.6 meant she had to settle for third, just 0.2 points behind Takanashi.

Takanashi and Ito won 14 of the 19 World Cup rounds between them this season, but were beaten to world championship gold by Carina Vogt of Germany last month.

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