Takanashi soars to victory in Sapporo


Olympic ski jumper Sara Takanashi claimed victory in the individual event at the Women’s World Cup Sapporo meet on Saturday.

In her 60th career World Cup competition, the 19-year-old Takanashi maintained her first-jump lead en route to her third win this season and 33rd overall with jumps of 97 and 98 meters at the K-90 Miyanomori Ski Jump Stadium hill.

“I had a favorable wind and I was able to put together good quality jumps,” said the Hokkaido-born Takanashi, who collected 265.6 points and stretched her World Cup winning streak in Sapporo to five.

Takanashi has long dominated competitions with the length of her jumps, and today was no different. Although she began her jumps a meter lower than the rest of the field, she managed the day’s two longest efforts, approaching the hill’s HS point both times.

Most of her struggles have been related to maintaining the required Telemark landing style. But Saturday, Takanashi nailed her landings and her jumps received the judges’ two highest evaluations.

“To be able to hit my Telemark on both tries, even when I was able to jump to the neighborhood of the HS point is a confidence boost,” she said. “I think I’ve learned a few tricks. The work I put in during the summer has paid off.”

“I’d wanted to win, so I’m relieved.”

Ema Klinec of Slovenia finished second with 241.3 points, while Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria was third with 234.5 points.

Yuki Ito was the only other Japanese who placed in the top 10, finishing 10th with 214.2 points.