Takanashi outstanding in first home competition
After her first defeat this season, Sara Takanashi is now back on track and won the first of four home competitions in Japan. In Sapporo, the overall World Cup leader came in first with jumps on 99 m and 94.5 m and a total of 254.5 points, followed by Carina Vogt and Irina Avvakumova.
"I’m very happy that I could win here. All the supporters that came here to the hill in Sapporo also helped me a lot to achieve this victory. Last year I was disappointed with my result in Sapporo, but today was a good day for me. I have trained a lot here, so I know this hill very well", said Takanashi.
There was a gap of 16.6 points between Vogt, who jumped on 94.5 m in both rounds for 240.7 points, and third-placed Avvakumova. A week after her win in Chaikovsky, the Russian, third in the overall World Cup, took her fifth podium finish in a row with 90.5 m and 89.5 m. Despite the good result, Avvakumova still sees room for improvement. "I’m happy, because my jumps today were not good, but the result was okay. I made some mistakes, but overall everything is fine and I’m very positive. The weather today was difficult, the wind was changing very much."
Vogt was second for the third time and is now also second in the overall World Cup. "I’m very satisfied with my second place. It’s the 3rd time in a row that I’m second, I hope I can improve my jumping and place more and more often on the podium. The conditions were difficult, but I was lucky with the wind and had good jumps, so it was a very nice competition for me. The atmosphere here is special, but each country is a bit different, it’s nice to be a part of the ski jumping world."
The fourth place went to Yuki Ito, besides Takanashi the only Japanese in the second round, with 84 m and 95 m and 219.6 points. Ito moved up from 17th to fourth with an impressive performance in the final round. Maja Vtic of Slovenia was fifth with 216.1 points, ahead of French Coline Mattel (215.4 points). Only 0.5 points behind, Julia Kykkaenen of Finland was seventh and achieved her best World Cup result. Behind Katharina Althaus, Daniela Iraschko-Stolz was the best Austrian in ninth, US American Jessica Jerome completed the Top 10.
Canadian Atsuko Tanaka, who did not compete in the recent events in Russia, achieved her best result this season in eleventh, her teammate Taylor Henrich was seventh after the first round and came in 15th overall. Julia Clair of France was 12th and once again showed a consistent performance, just like Ramona Straub who was 13th, her fifth Top 20 finish in a row. Her teammate Ulrike Graessler moved up from 26th to 19th on the hill where the World Championships 2007 were held. This was her best result in this Olympic winter.
Line Jahr was the best Norwegian in 16th, Elena Runggaldier came in 17th for Italy. Bigna Windmueller represented Switzerland in the final round and was 25th, while her sister again failed to make the cut for the final in 45th. Dana Vasilica Haralambie (29th) scored World Cup points for Romania for the third time this season.
The second ladies' competition in Sapporo will take place on Sunday at 3:00 am CET.