Stefan Kraft Soars to Victory in FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Opener

Austrian Stefan Kraft is the winner of the first competition of this season's Ski Jumping World Cup

by Sededin Dedovic
Stefan Kraft Soars to Victory in FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Opener
© Kenta Harada / Getty Images

RUKA, Finland - Austrian jumper Stefan Kraft won the 2023-24 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup season opener in Ruka, Finland. Kraft's impressive jumps of 144 and 143 meters gave him a total of 326.2 points, securing the 31st World Cup victory of his career.

Kraft's performance foreshadowed a potential campaign for his third Crystal Globe, awarded to the overall winner of the World Cup. The 33-year-old veteran showed his unwavering talent and experience, outshining his competitors on the day.

In addition to the Austrian, the Germans dominated

Germany's Pius Paschke, who finished 10.6 points behind Kraft, was equally delighted with his career-best performance. Paschke's jumps of 142 and 142.5 meters earned him a well-deserved second place.

He was also good last season, especially towards the end of the competition, and it seems that he will be even better this season, as was predicted. The podium was completed by another German jumper, Stephan Leyhe, who won 313.2 points with his jumps of 137 and 143.5 meters.

Leyhe's performance showed the depth of talent within the German squad. Regardless of the great performances of the German jumpers, it was not enough for one of them to dethrone the jumping legend Stefan Kraft. The competition in Ruka provided an exciting start to the new World Cup season, setting the stage for an exciting year in ski jumping.

With Kraft's dominant performance, the battle for the Crystal Globe is sure to be intense. We hope that some of the young jumpers will make a breakthrough this season, because in ski jumping we are used to one newcomer shining every season.

Results of the first competition of the season in Ruka, Finland: Stefan Kraft (Austria) - 326.2 (144.0/143.0 meters) Pius Paschke (Germany) - 315.6 (142.0/142.5 meters) Stephan Leyhe (Germany) - 313.2 (137.0/143.5 meters) Andreas Wellinger (Germany) - 311.5 (142.0/136.0 meters) Daniel Tschofenig (Austria) - 310.3 (136.0/140.5 meters) Ryoyu Kobayashi (Japan) - 309.7 (138.5/141.5 meters) The second Ruka competition is scheduled for today, providing another opportunity for the world's top jumpers to showcase their skills and fight for supremacy. Record attendance is expected.