PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA – Sara Takanashi won her fourth overall ski jumping World Cup title on Wednesday, but fell short of tying Gregor Schlierenzauer’s all-time record of 53 victories.
In a test event for next year’s Pyeongchang Olympics, Takanashi finished second on 224.9 points behind compatriot Yuki Ito with 234.4 points.
Despite her runner-up finish, the result was good enough to hand the 20-year-old Takanashi her second straight overall crown.
Takanashi has 1,275 points in the World Cup standings, followed by Ito with 1,028. Ito cannot overtake Takanashi even if she wins the remaining two meets of the season.
Takanashi said she had mixed feelings about lifting the World Cup trophy despite not winning on the day, and that she would quickly turn her sights to Thursday, when she will take another shot at Schlierenzauer’s mark.
“It’s a little confusing,” said Takanashi, who has eight victories this campaign. “My timing was so off on the second jump, and I think that was a reflection of the way I prepared. I have to make sure I don’t make the same mistake tomorrow.”
Ito was second to Takanashi, who had won her three previous events, after the first jump, but outscored Takanashi 116.3 to 101.0 on the second attempt to capture her fourth win of the campaign.
Takanashi admitted she was nervous going into the second jump, when she was fifth in the field.
“I got a really good feel from the first jump, but then I became a little uptight. I’ll get myself ready as much as I can for tomorrow,” Takanashi said.
Ito was pleased to have gotten the job done at the venue of the 2018 Winter Games, where she hopes to reach the podium alongside Takanashi.
“I was able to win in Pyeongchang so I’m happy,” she said. “It was a good competition for me.”