Sara Takanashi wins in Erzurum ahead of Sarah Hendrickson and Carina Vogt.
It was a tough fight today between Sara Takanashi (JPN) and Sarah Hendrickson (USA) for the gold medal at the Junior World Championships in Erzurum Turkey. In the first round Takanashi jumped 108.5 and Hendrickson 105.0 meters. But as Hendrickson got very high style points by the judges, both were sharing the first rank with equal points at half-time. In the second round Hendrickson again scored high judges points, but jumped only 100.5 meters – not enough to beat Takanashi, who jumped 107.5 meters and so won by 11.5 points.
It is the first medal at the Junior Worlds for the 15 year old Japanese, who already won the Junior Olympics in January. “I am so happy right now! You never know what happens during a competition, so you just have to focus on your jumps and your own performance. I tried to give my very best today and it worked out great for me. It is my first time here in Erzurum and because of that jumping on this hill was absolutely new to me. But I like that hill and also the atmosphere has been amazing today”, said Takanashi
“I did not good training jumps during the last days, so I am very pleased with the result today. After the first round Sara and I tied and that meant a lot of pressure to me because I had to show a really good jump in the final round. It was hard to handle and we are also at the end of a long season, so I think I managed to do the best I could here at the Junior World Championships so far”, said Hendrickson
On the bronze rank behind the two Sara(h)s came Germany’s Carina Vogt with a pair of jumps 102.5 and 100.0 meters. “At the moment I am very satisfied. This have been the last Junior World Championships for me and so I am very happy about being able to win my first medal. I didn’t expect that I would manage to do that. But my jumping performance is getting better step by step and now I think that this success has been a great final for me”, she said.
Fourth came Italy’s Evelyn Insam with jumps on 100.5 and 101.0 meters ahead of Slovenia’s Spela Rogelj, who also jumped 100.5 and 101.0 meters, but got slightly lower judges points. Defending champion Coline Mattel from France was third after jumping 104.0 meters in the first round, but with a 93.0 meter jump in the second she fell back to the sixth rank.
The athletes have another chance to win a medal on Saturday, when the team competition will be held.