Takanashi defends title as Junior World Champion


Outstanding victory for Sara Takanashi in Liberec. Evelyn Insam and Katja Pozun take second and third places.

Sara Takanashi won gold at the Junior World Championshisps in Liberec. This victory just deserves to be called outstanding, because after winning individual and team gold already in the last year in Erzurum, she now owns three gold medals from Junior Worlds and so is the most successful female athlete at these championships. Moreover she is now one of only two jumpers, that were able to defend the title as Junior World Champion. The other one was Janne Ahonen who won in 1993 and 1994. Takanashi is only 16 years old and so may participate in four Junior World Championships more, so there is a high chance that this was not her last medal.

Takanashi showed two great jumps of 98.5 and 102.0 meters to win that competition. “It’s a great feeling to repeat last year’s victory at the Junior World Championships. My jumps here in Liberec were all good and I am so happy about winning the gold medal!” she said.

Second behind Takanashi came Italy’s Evelyn Insam with a pair of jumps of 96.5 and 100.0 meters. “That was a great and exciting competition today. I am absolutely satisfied with my jumps and my performance. Now I really hope to go on like this!” she said. Third came Slovenia’s Katja Pozun with jumps of 94.5 and 99.9 meters. This is the second bronze medal at Junior Worlds for her, after already being third in 2008. “I am totally satisfied and happy right now. These are the last Junior World Championships I’m taking part in, so winning the Bronze medal means a lot to me,” she said.

Coline Mattel from France took the third place by jumping 95.0 meters twice. After the first round she was still on third, but then fell back to this position in the second. With Ursa Bogataj another Slovenian took the fifth place (93.0 and 96.0 m). As Spela Rogelj and Ema Klinek took places seven and nine, all Slovenian jumpers made it to the top ten today, so it would just be a big surprise, if they will not win the team event on Saturday.

A little disappointing was the performance of America’s Sarah Hendrickson. After the official trainings everybody expected a close fight for victory between her and Takanashi. But then she messed up her first jump and just made 89.0 meters which got her out of the picture. A nice 97.0 meter jump in the second round did not help to make up ground and so she eventually took the sixth place. “Ski-jumping is a sport in which head decides. From this point of view, I have not managed well at all in the first round. I was overmotivated,” she said.

Another official training will be held tomorrow, the team competition is scheduled for Saturday 1 o’clock.

Results after the 1st round »

Final results of the competition »

UPDATED: 2013-01-24 16:59:00