Olympic champion Maren Lundby won the first qualification at the FIS Ladies World Cup in Sapporo. With an amazing jump of 134 m, the Norwegian outclassed the rest of the field.
The ladies were able to hold their first qualification on the HS 137 large hill, after all the previous competitions in Sapporo took place on the HS 100, in almost perfect weather conditions. During the night there was a snowstorm in Sapporo, but in time for the start of the training, the conditions were good and fair.
Her great jump earned Lundby a lead of 16.2 points over second-placed local hero Sara Takanashi (119.5 m; 121.0 points). "Today was a good day. Over the past weeks, I have been working on my jump and I think that I was able to implement the changes I made in training and I'm happy about that. I try to focus on my jumps during the weekend here in Sapporo and not on the results", Lundby explained after the qualification.
Austria's Daniel Iraschko-Stolz was third with a jump of 125.5 m. With Eva Pinkelnig in fifth and Chiara Hoelzl in tenth, the Austrians achieved a strong team result.
Katharina Althaus in fourth and Carina Vogt in sixth showed strong performances for the German team. Juliane Seyfarth also convinced in 13th. Italian Elena Runggaldier showed a surprisingly strong performance and finished seventh.
Saturday's competition starts at 8:30 am CET.