Ryōyū Kobayashi continued his good form by topping qualification for the first of four International Ski Federation (FIS) Ski Jumping World Cup events in Planica.
The Japanese athlete cleared 229.0 meters to earn a score of 249.7 on the flying hill at the Slovenian resort.
Kobayashi has won two of the last three FIS men's Ski Jumping World Cup legs, and is also the defending Planica7 champion.
Tomorrow's World Cup will not count towards the Planica7 standings, but all results thereafter will.
German Markus Eisenbichler was second, scoring 248.5, while home athlete Bor Pavlovčič achieved the best distance - 232.5m - to place third on a points total of 245.8.
Another German, Karl Geiger, the reigning ski flying world champion, was fourth.
Geiger won that title in Panica in December, and earned four medals at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf earlier in this month.
Halvor Egner Granerud of Norway, who has already secured the overall World Cup title, came 28th and has reached the final.
It is Granerud's first action since contacting COVID-19 at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Germany.
The final is due to be held tomorrow, ahead of a weekend of further World Cup action in Planica.