YAMAGATA – Sara Takanashi claimed a fourth straight women’s World Cup victory at a weather-shortened event on Friday, her fifth win out of six this season.
The 19-year-old reached 106 meters to score 143.4 points on her first jump at the 106-meter, K-95 hill at Kuraray Zao Schanze, claiming her 35th career win after the second round of jumps was canceled due to strong winds.
“I was glad I was able to give my best shot. It was a long queuing time but I had good images swirling inside my head,” said Takanashi, who had to clear the starting position three times amid unceasing winds.
“I thought the title was hinging on how I keep my concentration. I could do what I had to,” added Takanashi, who was delighted to set a hill record at the same tournament she finished seventh despite adverse conditions last year, missing the podium for the first time in 28 World Cup events.
“The fact that I could switch well mentally is a huge step, I’ve grown a bit. This is an event that has boosted my confidence for the rest of the career.”
Austria’s Daniela Iraschko-Stolz, the Sochi Olympic silver medalist and last season’s overall World Cup champion, was second.
Iraschko-Stolz, winner of the only event that Takanashi failed to take this season in Russia in December, scored 127.2 points after a 94.5-meter jump.
Slovenian Maja Vtic was third with 125.3.