Japan's Takanashi lifts 7th Ski Jumping World Cup

Japan's Takanashi lifts 7th Ski Jumping World Cup

Japan's Olympic gold medal hope Sara Takanashi soared to her seventh ski jumping World Cup victory of the season Saturday, despite sustaining a pratfall after a giant leap.

Japan's Sara Takanashi jumps in the women's World Cup competition in Zao, Yamagata prefecture on January 18, 2014

The 17-year-old jumped 104 metres (341 feet) to outdistance her rivals but fell after an erratic landing in the first round on the Zao hill in Japan.

She lost points for style because of the fall, but made up the marks with her distance.

After the second round was cancelled due to strong winds, she won the season's eighth World Cup event with 110.8 points from the first round.

Her compatriot Yuki Ito, 19, finished second at 109.4 points with a jump of 96.5 metres. Germany's Carina Vogt leapt 93 metres and came in third at 108.1 points.

"I am glad I've won the event. I regret that I could not land well," Takanashi said. "I still have a lot of work to do on my technique."

"I'm glad that I can stand on the podium with my senior teammate that I respect," said Takanashi, who will represent Japan along with Ito at the upcoming Sochi Games where women's ski jumping makes its Olympic debut.

It was Takanashi's 16th career World Cup victory. The previous world record of 13 wins was set by world champion Sarah Hendrickson.

The 19-year-old American, the champion of the inaugural women's World Cup season in 2011-2012, is recovering from a cruciate ligament injury after a fall in August.

She is hoping to compete again this month.

After eight events in the 19-round season, Takanashi leads the World Cup standings with a whopping 760 points, aiming for a second straight overall title.

Germany's Carina Vogt trails in second spot with 466 points, while Russian Irina Avvakumova is third with 435.

The Zao track has been renovated to resemble the ski jump at the Sochi Games. Its take-off ramp is more gradual than most other tracks at World Cup venues.

Results: (The second round was cancelled due to strong winds)

1. Sara Takanashi (JPN) 110.8 pts (104m)

2. Yuki Ito (JPN) 109.4 (96.5m)

3. Carina Vogt (GER) 108.1 (93m), 4. Maren Lundby (NOR) 103.9 (90m), 5. Ramona Straub (GER) 102.1 (92.5m)

Overall standings (after eight of 19 events)

1. Sara Takanashi (JPN) 760 pts, 2. Carina Vogt (GER) 466, 3. Irina Avvakumova (RUS) 435, 4. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT) 322, 5. Coline Mattel (FRA) 275

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