For the first time a team event will be held at Junior World Championships. Sara Takanashi was best in today’s first official training.
The Junior World Championships in Otepää, Estonia, have begun today with an official training. These championships are a big step forward for Ladies Skijumping, as a team event will be held on this level for the first time. 16 nations have nominated athletes for the competitions in Ladies Skijumping – a new record. China and Romania are participating for the first time. Previous year’s champion Elena Runggaldier (ITA) cannot defend her title, as she has exceeded the age limit. Only jumpers born in 1991 or younger are allowed to start.
Japanese strong in the first official training
The first official training was held today in the afternoon. A little surprising France’s Coline Mattel, winner of the last three Continental Cups, was not the best in this training. She had admittedly two good jumps on 78.0 and 88.5 meters, but Japan’s Sara Takanashi was even better. With jumps on 79.5 and 101.5 meters she has declared herself the top-favourite for these Championships. Also her team-mate Yuki Ito performed fine (76.5 and 87.5 m), so Japan seems to have a good chance in the team event. Part of the Japanese team is also Atsuko Tanaka. Until the last year, she was still member of the Canadian national team. The Japanese-born, who has grown up in Canada, has moved to her country of origin in the last year and switched to the Japanese team soon.
Also Italy’s Evelyn Insam (79.0 and 85.5 m), Finland’s Julia Kykkänen (76.0 and 85.5 m) and Norway’s Maren Lundby (76.0 and 85.5 m) had far jumps in both training rounds. Slovenia, that was suspected to be the best team after their performance in the last Continental Cups, only made it to the middle of the field, as well as the United States. The German team was unable to participate in this training, as their luggage and equipment did not arrive yet.
A second official training will be held tomorrow at 3:30 PM. The individual competition is scheduled for Thursday.