Carina Vogt, Sara Takanashi, Bigna Windmueller - FIS
Once again there was one round only, and once again Sara Takanashi of Japan took the win. Zao 2014 will be remembered by spectators and athletes as a windy, and on Sunday also snowy, event.
For the second time in the last 24 hours, the second round was canceled in the FIS Ladies' World Cup, for the second time the results of the first round became the offficial results of the competition and for the second time Sara Takanashi of Japan was the winner.
Premiere for Bigna Windmueller
One very good jump on 98 m (127.5 points) was enough for Takanashi to win on Sunday with a lead of ten points over Germany's Carina Vogt (96 m; 117.5 points). Swiss Bigna Windmueller finished on a strong third place with a jump on 91 m (109.9 points). Windmueller already showed a good performance on the day before in sixth and achieved her first ever podium result on Sunday.
The Norwegians Maren Lundby and Helena Olsson Smeby shared the fourth place with 108.3 points, closely behind Windmueller. Finland's Julia Kykkaenen followed in sixth, Yuki Ito, second of the first competition, was seventh and could not repeat her podium finish in Zao.
Sara Takanashi now leads in the overall ranking with 860 points, followed by Carina Vogt (546 points) and Russia's Irina Avvakumova (435 points).
Sara Takanashi's results this season are incredible, 9 competitions - 8 wins, one third place. Right now nobody can beat Takanashi, Takanashi can only beat herself.
4 competitions to go until Sochi
Two more stops in the World Cup are left before the historic premiere at the Olympic Games in Sochi: Two competitions will take place in Planica (SLO) on January 25th and 26th, these competitions were scheduled for Ljubno (SLO) but had to be moved to Planica due to a lack of snow there. Then two more competitions will be held in Hinzenbach (AUT) on February 1st and 2nd.
The ladies will fight for Olympic Gold on February 11th. Everything but a Gold in Sochi would be a huge disappointment for Sara Takanashi and the whole Japanese ski jumping community, that's for sure and that's the price for the outstanding performances of the 17-year-old this winter.
Statements of the Top 3 in the second competition in Zao:
Sara Takanashi (JPN):
"I’m very happy that I won here in front of so many Japanese supporters. It was a difficult competition due to the bad weather conditions. Also today I was not landing with a telemark, because safety is most important to me. I jumped in a different suit today, but that had no influence.
Carina Vogt (GER):
"I’m very happy about my second place, this season is very good for me. In the first round the conditions were not that bad, but in the second it got very stormy and it had to be cancelled. I don’t know what Sara Takanashi does so much better than the other jumpers, but I try my best and maybe some day I will be able to beat her."
Bigna Windmueller (SUI):
"I feel very happy about my podium today. Last year was hard for me, I was not in a good shape. Now it’s going better and better and today I also got my Olympic ticket, so it’s great. I like the hill in Zao, already in the previous seasons I felt good here. We had a bit of trouble with the weather this weekend, but I think that we did our best."