Japan with the best mixed team
The team of Japan won the mixed team competition in Chaikovsky (RUS) on Saturday afternoon. Nozomi Maruyama, Yukiya Sato, Sara Takanashi, and Junshiro Kobayashi scored a total of 974.8 points and took the win ahead of Slovenia (Jerneja Brecl, Jurij Tepes, Ema Klinec, Robert Kranjec; 963.5 points) and Norway (Anna Odine Stroem, Robin Pedersen, Maren Lundby, Fredrik Bjerkeengen; 942.6 points). The Russian hosts finished fourth.
A close team performance was the key to success for the team around superstar Sara Takanashi. And Takanashi didn't even have to show her best jumps in the mixed team event of the season. Nozomi Maruyama in the first round and Yukiya Sato with a very strong final jump provided the necessary points to come in ahead of the team of Slovenia. "The wind conditions were pretty difficult today, but my teammates jumped very well. My jumps were also okay. Mixed team events are always special and we love it. We are very happy about today's success and now we can enjoy it", Sara Takanashi said after the competition.
"Our goal was to win this mixed team competition and I'm really happy that we could achieve that. I hope I can show similar jumps tomorrow and finish on the podium", said Takanashi's teammate Junshiro Kobayashi.
This was already the seventh win for Japan in this summer's Grand Prix. So far, Sara Takanashi has won four times and Ryoyu Kobayashi twice.
The competition remained exciting until the very last jump. An outstanding performance was shown by Russia's Evgeniy Klimov, who set a new hill record of 146 m in the second round. This jump made the fight for the third place exciting again, but in the end, Russia was not able to beat Norway. Young Jerneja Brecl showed a convincing performance for Slovenia with her second jump of 140 m.
Despite the outstanding Evgeniy Klimov and a strong Dmitriy Vassiliev, Russia came in only fourth. The two ladies simply lost too many points compared to the competition and so Russia landed 30 points behind the Top 30. But still, this was a good day for the team of head coach Evgeniy Plekhov, also because the top favorite for the men's competition on Sunday in Chaikovsky is now Evgeniy Klimov.
The Austrian ladies (Hoelzl and Seifriedsberger) jumped very well today, but the men could not keep up and so they finished only fifth. Considering the fact that the Austrians were not able to train yesterday because their skis and suits arrived in Chaikovsky last at night, this was a solid result.
The German team with Pauline Hessler, Andreas Wank, Juliane Seyfarth, and Pius Paschke was sixth, followed by the USA and Kazakhstan.
The two individual competitions of the FIS Grand Prix in Chaikovsky are taking place on Sunday at 11 am LOC / 8 am CET (ladies) and 3 pm LOC / 12 pm CET (men).