Third title for Takanashi: You have to think for a moment before you realize that Sara Takanashi, who is dominating this winter's ladies' World Cup, is only 17 years old and so still allowed to compete at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships. In Val di Fiemme, Italy, Takanashi won her third gold medal at an FIS JWSC: She already won in Erzurum (TUR) 2012 and Liberec (CZE) 2013.
Takanashi laid the foundation for her clear win already in the first round. She posted the, by far, longest jump with 100.5 m and that earned her a lead of exactly eight points over French Mattel. In the final round, Takanashi then once again jumped on 100.5 m. Again the longest jump, and again Junior World Champion. "I'm very happy about my result. There was nothing to improve on the performance side today. This is an excellent preparation for the Olympic Games in Sochi", Takanashi said after the competition.
Takanashi scored a total of 262.9 points, 14.2 points more than Coline Mattel of France (97 m and 97 m; 248.7 points). Norwegian Maren Lundby (96.5 m and 97 m; 246.2 points) moved up from fifth to third with a strong jump in the final round. "I am happy about today but I am not very happy about my jumps. I showed better jumps in training. But it's still good to be second with these kind of jumps because it shows that I am getting better", told Mattel.
After it didn't go that well for her in training, it was a very good competition for Maren Lundby. "I am really happy today. I was not jumping that well in training but I knew I could do it. So I am really happy that I can perform this well in the competition."
Takanashi's teammate Yuki Ito closely missed the podium in fourth with 96.5 m and 94 m and a total of 241.2 points. Best German was Katharina Althaus in fifth. Ursa Bogataj came in sixth and was the best of the Slovenian team. Julia Clair (7th) and Lea Lemare (8th) completed the good team result for France.
According to the rules of the International Ski Federation (FIS), Takanashi, born in 1996, is allowed to compete at JWSC until the winter 2015/16. This means that the Japanese can theoretically win 5 titles.