Sara Takanashi keeps on winning
Sara Takanashi won the first competition of the Ladies' Ski Jumping World Cup this season. The defending overall World Cup champion took the win in Lillehammer with jumps on 102 m and 96.5 m and 286.0 points.
Daniela Iraschko-Stolz came in second with her jumps on 102.5 m and 94.5 m and a total of 270.0 points. Iraschko-Stolz shared second place with 14-year-old German Gianina Ernst, who surprised with 97.5 m and 97m in her World Cup Debut. Her teammate Carina Vogt was fourth and missed the podium by only 0.7 points.
Takanashi, who was also a member of the winning mixed team on Friday, was more than satisfied with her perfect start. "The wind conditions were really difficult today. But I was still able to win and this gives me a lot of self-confidence. The level of ladies' ski jumping increased incredibly and it will be very difficult to win also in the future."
Iraschko-Stolz was also on the podium with her team on Friday, this time she was at least satisfied with the distances she jumped. "If somebody would have told me this before I wouldn't have believed it. I didn't expect that this would be possible already after my injury. This gives me the necessary self-confidence for the next competitions."
Ernst, who attracted some attention already in October when she was third at the German Championships, was more than happy with her debut. "Of course it's very exciting to stand on the podium in my first World Cup. But on the other hand this is my job and I do it since I was five years old. I'm totally happy now and excited about the result." The whole German team had a good performance. Katharina Althaus, sixth with 264.7 points, only 3.4 points behind Austria's Jacqueline Seifriedsberger and Svenja Wuerth as eleventh completed to very good result of the team of head coach Andreas Bauer.
Ema Klinec of Slovenia came in only 0.3 points behind Althaus. Her teammate Maja Vtic was ninth and achieved a Top 10 result with her 259.5 points. French hope Coline Mattel still has some room for improvement as eighth, even if she was not too far behind the podium with 262.4 points.
The best Canadian at the season opening was Taylor Henrich as tenth. Maren Lundby and Helena Olsson Smeby as 12th and 13th achieved good results for the Norwegian hosts, while Anette Sagen will probably not be happy with 27th place. Italian Elena Runggaldier finished 15th and was as consistent as in Friday's mixed competition, Irina Avvakumova improved her performance and was 16th.
Jessica Jerome and Lindsey Van were 19th and 22nd and are not in the shape for the Olympic Games yet, Bigna Windmueller scored some World Cup points for Switzerland as 21st.