“I want to be a good promoter for our sport”

Sara Takanashi is the outstanding athlete in Ladies Ski Jumping. Only 20 years of age the Japanese is about accomplishing a milestone by winning her 50th World Cup competition. Takanashi already won 49 World Cup competitions. That is more than half of all ever held competitions in the FIS World Cup Ladies Ski Jumping.

fisski.com was talking with Sara Takanashi about the competitions in Sapporo and Zao and about her further goals.  

fisski.com: Sara Takanashi, Zao is a very special place for you. You took part in your first international competition here, you won your first World Cup here. Still the last weekend did not work out for you like you might have wished.
Sara Takanashi: That is true, Zao is very special. I was winning here very many times, this is where the journey began. And the people are always supporting me so much. The last weekend was hard work for me, my jumps did not go easy. But I am even happier, that I could finish the weekend with a podium.

fisski.com: How big is this number 50 to you?
Takanashi: Of course, this number means a lot to me. It is huge. But I always knew that the most important thing is the training, the little details. I am always trying to go step by step. I don’t only want to win but I also very much care about the way I am jumping. The beauty of the jump. So the number is important. But it is not the most important thing.

fisski.com: Ladies Ski Jumping is very popular in Japan and so are you. People where very excited before the competitions here about this 50th win. Was this some kind of pressure for you?
Takanashi: I was aware of this. And I would have loved to take this 50th win in Sapporo or Zao. It was some kind of pressure. But mainly I am glad about the attention our sport is getting here and how many people in Japan are caring about it. I want to keep going to pay something back and to be a good promoter for our sport.

fisski.com: You are still very young and extremely successful. Do you sometimes have trouble believing it yourself? Takanashi: I don’t really care about my age. That is only a number. I can feel I am not alone because I have so many supporters. They are giving me so much strength. This is what counts.

fisski.com: What do you still want to achieve? What are your goals?
Takanashi: I want to be a leader of the Ladies Ski Jumping. And I don’t think I am good enough yet. I am trying to learn from older jumpers like Daniela Iraschko-Stolz. I want to become an Olympic Champion. That is still missing so I have to improve to get the skills I need.

fisski.com: What about the World Championships in Lahti? Are you looking forward?
Takanashi: Yes, I am. I never was a World Champion, so this is another goal.

fisski.com: You are a role model for very many of your competitors. Did you ever have somebody you´ve been looking up to?
Takanashi: I´ve always admired Sarah Hendrickson. When I went to Sapporo for the first time it was so exciting seeing her. She is a very strong person, she is always positive and it is impressive how she always came back after her injuries. This is admirable.

fisski.com: How are you celebrating your victories?
Takanashi: I am celebrating in my heart. I am very happy about every victory. But I have to focus on what is comping up and I have to keep going.

fisski.com: What are you doing to relax? What can you enjoy besides ski jumping?
Takanashi: I am getting to meet very many people and enjoying this very much. When the season is over I am still a student, I am studying sports.

fisski.com: Can you imagine becoming a coach one day?
Takanashi: My studies are giving me very many options and becoming a coach is one of them. For now I am not thinking about it a lot but I am trying to focus on my sports.