Next to the Olympics, we can look forward to see close fights and a very high performance level in the upcoming winter. A preview by Ladies-Skijumping.com chief editor Stefan Diaz.
This winter’s first World Cups will be held on the weekend in Lillehammer. All national teams were able to do their first training jumps on snow during the last weeks, so everybody seems to be well prepared for these competitions, that will open a very special season. For sure the Olympic Games, that will be attended for the first time ever by female ski jumpers, will be in the center of attention all the time, but actually the whole season, and not only this highlight, promises to be very interesting:
Unfortunately the duel of the Sara(h)s, that characterized the last two seasons, cannot take place this year. As Sarah Hendrickson is out of action due to a knee injury suffered in August, only Sara Takanashi remains in the field. Hendrickson is working very hard to return to the hills as fast as possible, but of course she will need a good portion of luck to jump again still during this winter. But also with her missing the performance level will be higher than ever before. Highly experienced Daniela Iraschko is back after curing her torn ligament completely, and Ema Klinec, maybe the biggest talent in this sports ever, is finally old enough to compete in World Cups. So we can look forward to see some really close fights between them and other world class athletes, such as Coline Mattel, Jacqueline Seifriedsberger or Katja Pozun, to name but a few. But also behind of these spotlight-athletes we will see a very high level this winter. Caused by the Olympics most teams had a higher budget for their training efforts and so were able to work harder and more professional then ever before.
The fact that two of the twenty World Cups this winter will be held on large hills, that allow for jumps of more than 130 meters, just fits perfectly to the expected performance level. All we need now are good weather conditions at all places – but why shouldn’t we expect the best also from the elements?