ZAO, YAMAGATA PREF. – Sara Takanashi continued to struggle on the World Cup ski jump circuit, finishing fourth on Friday.
Takanashi, who will compete at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics next month, missed another chance to set the record for all-time individual World Cup wins, while Norway’s Maren Lundby won her fourth straight competition.
A four-time overall women’s World Cup champion, Takanashi recorded 93.5- and 93.0-meter jumps at Kuraray Zao Schanze for a total of 216.0 points.
“I was working on the impact of the jumps but my approach was off,” Takanashi said. “When my feelings are off, I end up in a vicious circle.”
Takanashi captured the 53rd World Cup title of her career last February to tie Austrian Gregor Schlierenzauer’s all-time record. However, her best individual finish this season was runner-up on Sunday in Sapporo.
Lundby, who leads the World Cup standings, cruised to her fifth victory of the season with 101.5- and 100.0-meter leaps. The 23-year-old earned 41.6 points more than Austrian runner-up Chiara Hoelzl, who finished with 219.3 points.
“Both my jumps were quite good today, and maybe .. .my best jumps in competition ever,” said Lundby, who won both events in Sapporo after taking gold last month in Hinterzarten, Germany. “I feel I’m taking steps and confidence is also there. I’m enjoying Japan at the moment.”
Russia’s Irina Avaakumova was third, while Yuki Ito, who won both of the competitions at last year’s Zao meet, settled for fifth.