Ryōyū Kobayashi of Japan topped qualification on the opening day of the Four Hills Tournament ©Getty Images

Ryōyū Kobayashi of Japan topped qualification as the Four Hills Tournament, part of the Ski Jumping World Cup, got underway in Oberstdorf.

Kobayashi, second on the overall World Cup standings, earned 149.3 points after a qualification-round jump of 129 metres.

The Japanese, winner of the Four Hills competition in 2019 and a former overall World Cup champion, finished 4.4 points clear of Karl Geiger of Germany in second.

Geiger was given 144.9 points following a leap of 127.5m.

The German, who leads the World Cup standings, is seeking to become the first German ski jumper in 20 years to win the Four Hills Tournament.

The Norwegian pair of Halvor Egner Granerud and Johann Andre Forfang ended equal third on 144.5 points.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is scheduled to hold the second stage of the Four Hills Tournament on January 1.

The final two legs of the Four Hills Tournament are set to take place in the Austrian resorts of Innsbruck and Bischofshofen on January 4 and 6, respectively.

Spectators have been banned from all legs because of coronavirus countermeasures imposed by Bavarian and Austrian health authorities.