LAHTI, FINLAND – Sara Takanashi missed out on Japan’s first gold medal and failed to break her jinx at the Nordic Ski World Championships when she finished third in the women’s ski jumping on Friday.
Sochi Olympic gold medalist Carina Vogt of Germany won with a total of 254.6 points, with Yuki Ito outscoring Takanashi to take second with 252.6 points and Takanashi earning 251.1 points.
Takanashi hoped to make up for her 2.7-point deficit to Maren Lundby of Norway who led after her first-round jump of 99.5 meters, but lost her balance mid-air and could only manage a leap of 95 meters in her second attempt, unable to reach the hill size point.
“I had a good feeling after the first jump, but I got too tense in my second. I’ve done this before and I’m disappointed at myself for repeating the same mistake,” said Takanashi, who couldn’t hold back tears after speaking.
“I still don’t have what it takes to be 100 percent prepared for a big meet. I have to start with the basics all over again,” she said, adding that it is only because she was able to take home a medal that she is holding herself together.
Vogt had jumps of 98.5 and 96.5 meters, while Ito had jumps of 97.0 and 96.5 to claim her second straight silver at the worlds.
“Competing here was one of my goals, and I’m happy that I was able to win a medal. I put on my best performance of the season. I was able to relax like I do for any other meet,” said Ito.
For the 20-year-old Takanashi, it was her second time to secure a podium finish in an individual competition at the world championships after her second-place finish at the worlds in Italy in 2013.
Despite her dominance on the World Cup circuit with four overall titles in the last six seasons and 53 individual wins, Takanashi has struggled in major international events, finishing fourth at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 and missing out on a medal in the previous worlds.
In the men’s Nordic combined individual normal hill event won by Germany’s Johannes Rydzek in 26 minutes, 19.6 seconds, Japan’s Akito Watabe finished fifth. The top four finishers were from Germany.
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