Ryōyū Kobayashi earned gold in the men's normal hill event ©Getty Images

Ryōyū Kobayashi claimed Japan’s first Olympic ski jumping title in 24 years after triumphing in the men’s normal hill event at the Zhangjiakou National Ski Jumping Centre.

Kobayashi had been one of the form athletes heading into the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, recording seven World Cup wins in the build-up to the Games.

The 25-year-old led the competition at the halfway mark after receiving a score of 145.4 points, having achieved a distance of 104.5 metres.

He enjoyed a cushion of over six points to Slovenia’s Sochi 2014 silver medallist Peter Prevc, who occupied second place on 139.2.

Kobayashi sealed victory by achieving a score of 129.6 points in the second round, the fifth-highest effort.

His overall total of 275 points was enough to become Japan’s first Olympic gold medallist since Kazuyoshi Funaki won large hill gold at Nagano 1998.

"I can't believe it at all," Kobayashi said.

"My two jumps were perfect, which I was very pleased with.

"Today I had only good feelings when I was performing.

"At the last Olympics I realised many things that I was missing so this time I did what I had to do.

"This is why I got the victory."

Ryōyū Kobayashi is Japan's first Olympic ski jumping gold medallist since Nagano 1998 ©Getty Images
Ryōyū Kobayashi is Japan's first Olympic ski jumping gold medallist since Nagano 1998 ©Getty Images

Austria's Manuel Fettner produced the highest-scoring jump in the second run of competition, which saw him rise to the silver medal.

The 36-year-old finished with a total of 270.8 points.

The podium was completed by Poland’s Dawid Kubacki, who achieved a score of 265.9.

Prevc slipped outside the medal positions with the Slovenian ending 0.5 points off bronze, while the Russian Olympic Committee’s Evgeniy Klimov scored 261.5.

Three-time Olympic champion Kamil Stoch placed sixth, with the Polish star ending on 260.9 points.