Sara Takanashi opened the ski jumping World Cup season in Lillehammer on Friday with third place in the women’s normal hill, finishing behind first-time winner Juliane Seyfarth of Germany and Olympic champion Maren Lundby of Norway.
Battling windy conditions, Takanashi was eighth following her opening jump of 88.5 meters but flew an impressive 94.0 meters on her second effort to secure a podium finish with a total of 240.2 points.
The Pyeongchang Olympic bronze medalist finished six points behind local favorite Lundby and 18.6 back from runaway winner Seyfarth, whose previous best at a World Cup event was fifth.
Takanashi, who holds the all-time record of 55 World Cup wins, said she was happy with her second jump after struggling on her opener.
«I pulled it together on my second jump and salvaged a result,» she said.
«Regardless of the conditions, I realize I can’t win a World Cup meet unless I keep myself steady and go for distance.»
While the 22-year-old is looking to add to her record number of titles, she said she would not be fixated on winning this season.
«(I’m not) obsessed with the results. This season includes a variety of challenges and I want to take it all in,» she said.
«By getting this result in tough conditions, I gained good experience.»
Among other Japanese competitors, Yuki Ito finished 14th with 207.7 points, while Kaori Iwabuchi was 19th with 197.4.
All — Kyodo News+