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Ski jumper Takanashi ties all-time mark of 53 World Cup victories

Kyodo

Ski jumping star Sara Takanashi captured the 53rd World Cup event title of her career to tie Austrian Gregor Schlierenzauer’s all-time record at a meet on Thursday.

A day after securing her fourth overall World Cup title, the 20-year-old Takanashi had jumps of 99.5 and 97 meters to post a winning total of 215.1 points on the second day of the test event for next year’s Pyeongchang Olympics.

Takanashi finished ahead of compatriot Yuki Ito, who won Wednesday’s event. Ito scored 213.6 for second and Norway’s Maren Lundby, who led after the first round of jumps, was third with 210.2.

“I am happy to win my 53rd title but have mixed feelings,” Takanashi said. “The winds were favorable for me, but I am still not jumping solidly.

“Looking ahead to the Pyeongchang Olympics I have to try hard so that I am selected to compete for Japan. I was able to fix my approach and that I was able to turn things around will give me confidence.”

Takanashi is hoping to win her first title at the Nordic Ski World Championships starting in Lahti, Finland, next Wednesday.

“I must just do what I can ahead of the world championships,” she said. “There is not much time and I just have to keep myself (in good shape).”

Takanashi is competing in her sixth campaign since the women’s World Cup started in the 2011-2012 season. She has reached 53 career wins in 89 events and could take sole possession of the record if she captures her 54th title at the next World Cup meet in Oslo on March 12.

Ito was fourth after the first round but reached the medals podium thanks to a second jump of 111 meters.

“The second jump rescued me and both of them were better than they were yesterday. This has been a good event for me,” Ito said.