YAMAGATA – Yuki Ito came from behind to capture her second title of the season on home soil on the first day of a women’s World Cup meet on Friday, while Sara Takanashi finished in fifth place.
Ito, the winner in Sapporo last Saturday, managed 89.5 meters on her first jump for third place at Kuraray Zao Schanze, but she landed a 94-meter second effort to prevail with 213.6 points.
“I am so happy that I have been able to win my second title at home in difficult conditions,” said Ito. “My timing was quite a way off on both of my jumps so I wasn’t that confident, but I am glad I was somehow able to win.
“My second jump was not that great so it was a bit nail-biting (waiting for the final result). The (snowy, windy) conditions are the same for everyone so I just have to focus on what I have to do.”
Italy’s Manuela Malsiner was second with 213.3 points and Russia’s Irina Avvakumova was third with 210.6.
Takanashi, a three-time overall champion, had the longest jump of the second round, soaring 95 meters, but she could only muster 208.3 points for fifth.
“My timing for take-off was a bit late so with that in mind I tried to address it on my second jump,” Takanashi said.
It was the first time in four seasons that she has failed to make the podium in two consecutive events.
Takanashi, seeking her 50th career World Cup title, had won five out of six World Cup competitions this season before she placed second and then fourth in the seventh and eighth legs in Sapporo last weekend.
“I think a lot of people have expectations of me and I want to get my 50th (career) win,” Takanashi said.