Slovenia’s Ema Klinec won today’s Grand Prix competition on the normal hill in Courchevel ahead of Sarah Hendrickson and Yuki Ito.
Victory of a debutant: Ema Klinec won today’s Grand Prix competition in Courchevel with a pair of jumps of 96.0 and 94.0 meters. It was the first Grand Prix competition the Slovenian participated in ever. 15 year old Klinec, who won almost all FIS and OPA Cup-competitions of the last year, is one of the largest talents this sports ever had. Still some weeks ago it seemed that she would have to wait for one more year to make her debut on an international A-level, as the FIS Council decided at it’s spring meeting in June to raise the minimum age to participate in World Cup or Grand Prix competitions from 15 to 16. Later on, just a few days before the Grand Prix in Hinterzarten, they adjusted that rule, that now says that athletes have to be born in 1998 or before to compete, and so Klinec, who was born on July 2nd1998, regained the right to participate already this year in a Grand Prix. “I’m very happy about the win. My jumps at the trainings were on a high level so I hoped to jump well enough to win here. The chance was little, but I managed that and right now I can’t really express how I feel. I have waited for this moment for 2 years, since the World Cup for ladies was introduced and I’m very happy that the rules allowed me to compete in the World Cup now”, she said.
World Champion Sarah Hendrickson from the United States took the second place by jumping 93.0 and 98.0 meters. “I was a little bit stressed after yesterday’s not so good jumps, but I knew it was just because of the jetlag. Everybody has a bad day once in a while. The wind was all over the place and it was hard to have a really fair competition, but on the technical side of things I’m very happy with my jumps today”, she said. Japan’s Yuki Ito confirmed that she is in a very good form this summer and so came third with jumps of 88.5 and 99.0 meters. “The first jump was not so good, the timing was late. I was very nervous before the second jump, I tried to stay calm, focused and just do my best. Second jump was already good and the conditions were really favorable, which helped me”, she said.
Places four to six were taken by Germany’s Ulrike Grässler (91.5 and 97.0 m), Japan’s Sara Takanashi (88.5 and 69.0 m) and America’s Jessica Jerome (96.0 and 92.5 m). Best jumper of the hosting nation France came Coline Mattel on place 9 with jumps of 93.5 and 87.0 meters. After the first round she was still third.
There will be a break in the Grand Prix until September now. Then four more competitions will be held in Nizhniy Tagil, Russia and Almaty, Kazhakstan.
UPDATED 2013-08-15 18:27:00 (Quotes added)