Sara Takanashi starts season with a quali-win
Sara Takanashi

The 2018/19 season has opened with qualification in Lillehammer on HS 98 hill.

Japanese Sara Takanashi won the first qualification of the season with a jump of 96 meters (138.5 points). Second place went to surprisingly strong Russian Sofia Tikhonova (95 meters; 123.3 points), Austrian Eva Pinkeling was third (97 meters; 122.8 points).

A record of seventeen nations started the qualification today in Lillehammer. 

Weather conditions made it difficult for the athletes as well as the jury, heavy snowfalls and strong winds causing various delays. 

Takanashi who seems to have taken the good form she showed in summer to produce a solid jump today distanced herself by 15.2 points from the second placed Tikhonova. The distance between Tikhonova and Pinkelnig, who posted the longest jump of the day (97 meters) was much closer just 0.5 points between second and third.

Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT) having been given the all-clear to compete after her crash on Monday took a very strong fourth today joint with another Russian Lidiia Iakovleva. Maren Lundby was sixth, with four Norwegians qualifying for tomorrow’s competition, three of them in top 10, Silije Opseth in seventh and Anna Odine Stroem in ninth. Eighth place went to the best of Slovenians Maja Vtic, who did not compete since last winter season due to injury.

Top 10 was completed with the best German athlete Katharina Althaus. A total of five Germans qualified for tomorrow’s opening event of the season, with Pauline Hessler in eleventh, Ramona Straub in thirteenth, Carina Vogt in seventeenth, Anna Ruprecht in eighteenth and Juliane Seyfarth in thirty eighth.

The first of the Lillehammer triple starts on Friday at 17:30 CET.

Full results