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Japan wins mixed team ski jump bronze

Kyodo

Sara Takanashi helped Japan make it onto the podium as a member of the mixed team that won bronze at the Ski Jumping World Championships on Sunday.

The team of Takanashi, Taku Takeuchi, Yuki Ito and Daiki Ito won Japan’s second straight bronze in the event for mixed-gender teams comprised of two men and two women, while Germany captured gold with 1,035.5 points and Austria took silver with 999.3 points.

Japan maintained its third position after the first round of jumps and earned a total of 979.7 points, the third time in as many world championships the country has secured a podium spot, following its gold in 2013 and bronze in 2015.

“Our strong veteran jumpers helped us win this bronze. I did better here than I did in the individual event,” said Takanashi, who left in tears after winning bronze in the women’s competition on Friday.

Despite having to jump under tailwind conditions, Takanashi, the first of four jumpers on the team, recorded leaps of 90 meters and 89.5 meters, both the second-best marks among all first jumpers, on the K-90 hill.

Sochi Olympic gold medalist Carina Vogt, who beat Takanashi and Ito for gold in the women’s event, was part of the German team that also featured Markus Eisenbichler, Svenja Wuerth and Andreas Wellinger.

In the Nordic World Ski Championships, also held in Lahti, the Japanese men’s team of Hideaki Nagai, Takehiro Watanabe, Yoshito Watabe and Akito Watabe finished fourth in the team Gundersen 4×5-km competition won by Germany.

Japan had been looking to claim its first medal since winning the team event in 2009.