YAMAGATA – Yuki Ito earned her second straight World Cup win on Saturday, beating Sara Takanashi by 0.8 points for her third career win — all coming in an eight-day span on home soil.
Ito’s initial 100-meter jump was the day’s longest, while Takanashi opened with a 99.5-meter leap. Ito equaled Takanashi’s 94.5-meter second attempt and edged her compatriot 227.0 points to 226.2 at the K-100 Kuraray Zao Schanze.
Norway’s Maren Lundby (221.1) was third.
“I’m very happy because I was able to win both competitions in Zao,” Ito said. “I think my (average points on) jumping technique is getting better.”
A week earlier, the 22-year-old Ito won her first career World Cup jump in Sapporo and was runner-up the following day in her native Hokkaido before adding two more trophies in Yamagata.
“I was late in taking off with both my jumps today but the crowd here gave me a lift,” Ito said. “Zao is a lucky hill for me and I’m really glad to have won before the home fans.”
Takanashi, who had won five of six competitions this season before returning to Japan, failed to win any of the four, leaving her career World Cup win total at 49.
“I couldn’t put in the telemark with my first jump and although I traveled well through the air for the second, I’m disappointed I couldn’t display my best jump in Japan,” said the 20-year-old.
“But reaching the podium in a high-level competition boosts my confidence and is something I can build on. I’m disappointed not to be able to reach the (50-win) milestone in Japan but the season continues and I’ll keep giving my best.”