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Ski jumper Takanashi receives applause upon return to Narita aiport

Kyodo

Despite failing to meet golden aspirations and expectations at the Sochi Winter Olympics, 17-year-old women’s ski jumper Sara Takanashi received a warm welcome Friday, when she returned to Japan.

Takanashi was greeted by applause from people who happened to be at Narita airport when she arrived.

“I didn’t expect to get such a reception from all those people. I was surprised,” said Takanashi, who finished fourth in the Olympics’ first women’s ski jumping competition.

Asked about her Olympic experience, Takanashi said, “The first word that came to mind was gratitude. So many people were cheering me on.

“However, I failed to do my best and failed to get results, and now I feel deeply that what I did was inexcusable.”

Takanashi now returns to the World Cup circuit, where she is the defending champion and has won 10 out of 13 events this season.

“I want to exact comprehensive revenge,” she said. “I want to raise my level — of course, my technique, but also mentally.”