Is Takanashi really unbeatable?


The first official training for the World Championships in Val di Fiemme was held today, and surprisingly Sara Takanashi was not the dominating jumper today.

The World Championships in Val di Fiemme will be inaugurated tomorrow, but already today the first official training for the Ladies was held on the K95 / HS 106 hill in Predazzo. After her winning streak in the World Cup Japan’s Sara Takanashi is for sure the odds-on favourite for these championships – as the poll here on shows also most of our readers believe this. But the results of this training show, that there might be a chance for other jumpers to beat her – or that we will see at least a very close and thrilling competition here. In general this first training showed that many jumpers seem to have no problem handling this hill, so there were already a lot of jumps across the K-point.

Takanashi jumped 93.5, 90.5 and 90.0 meters in the three training rounds today, and so under use of the wind compensation rule, took the 5th, 6th, and 2nd round rank. But who knows? Maybe the 16 year old Japanese was not giving 100 % today to throw some sand into our eyes. Anyway it was actually a little surprising, that the Germans seem to be her strongest opponents. Carina Vogt was best in the first training round with a 99.5 meter jump. After jumping “only” 90.5 in the second round she did not make a third jump. Extremely good were also the jumps of Ulrike Grässler. First she jumped 94.0 and then even 100.5 meters. Also she passed on the third round after these good attempts.

The hosting nation Italy for sure knows the jumping hill here in Val di Fiemme very well, and some people for sure have Evelyn Insam on their list of medal candidates. But actually her performance was a little uneven today. In the first and third round she already landed at 81.5 resp. 80.0 meters. But her second round jump of 95.0 meters meant at least the 8th round rank. It was actually a little surprising, that her team-mate Elena Runggaldier, who won silver two years ago in Oslo, but was totally out of form this winter, was one of the best jumpers today. She jumped 98.5, 93.5 and 95.0 meters and so was maybe the most consistent jumper in this training.

Also the Amerian team did a lot of training on the hill in Predatto during the last years, as their coach Paulo Bernardi lives there. The most stable jumper of them today was Jessica Jerome, with jumps of 94.5 93.5 and 96.5 meters. Her team-mate Sarah Hendrickson improved from jump to jump and so after jumping 92.5 and 90.5 meters she eventually made the longest jump of the day on 101.0 meters in the third round.

Coline Mattel from France, bronze medalist two years ago in Oslo, also proved that she is in an excellent form at the moment. Her jumps of 97.0, 93.0 and 93.5 meters were enough for taking two second and one fifth place after wind and gate compensation.

Very interesting was the performance of Austria’s Chiara Hölzl. After not being among the best jumpers before, she jumped 99.0, 90.5 and 94.0 meters. Considering wind and gate compensation this meant the 9th, 13th and 8th round rank for her. For sure she cannot fully close the gap that’s in the Austrian team due to the injury of Daniela Iraschko, but – also in regard of the Mixed team competition, that will be held on Sunday – she might be more than just a patch for this gap.

Jaqueline Seifriedsberger, best Austrian jumper and after her World Cup win in Sapporo one of the hot candidates for a medal, did not start in today’s training. Also the whole Slovenian team did not jump today yet.


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