Takanashi suffers season’s first loss


Sara Takanashi reached her fifth straight World Cup podium on Saturday, but failed to take first prize for the first time this season.

The 17-year-old from Hokkaido won a bronze medal after placing sixth with her first jump of 98.5 meters on the HS 106-meter, K-95 hill. Her second jump traveled the same distance, and Takanashi finished with 243.1 points, behind Russia’s Irina Avvakumova, who earned her first Cup victory with 249.2 points. Germany’s Carina Vogt was runnerup with 244.9.

The event came a day after Takanashi won her fifth straight World Cup event at the same venue to underline her position as Sochi Olympic gold medal favorite. The podium finishers were the same on both days with Vogt runnerup both times and Avvakumova moving up from third to first on Saturday.

Takanashi leads the World Cup standings with 460 points, with Avvakumova second on 315 and Vogt third with 306.