Japan’s Takanashi Sails to 60th World Cup Ski Jump Title

The Associated Press
Sara Takanashi smiles holding the trophy after winning first place at the women’s Ski Jumping World Cup event in Rasnov, Romania, on Friday.

LONDON — Ski jumping star Sara Takanashi extended her record for most career World Cup victories when she sailed to her 60th title overall and third this season at a women’s meet in Rasnov, Romania, on Friday.

Takanashi led after a first-round jump of 92.0 meters, then sealed the victory with the day’s longest leap of 99.0 meters to easily win the ninth World Cup meet this season with 239.2 points.

When the victory was announced, Takanashi held up her skis in modest celebration. “I’m very happy,” she said in an interview.

As with all other athletes, Takanashi had to prepare for the season amid the restrictions of the pandemic era. The Japanese ace’s goal was to establish the right jump through trial-and-error. “Once I get my jump, the results will come,” she had said.

She certainly has found a groove, having now won three of her last four meets, while making the podium in six of nine meets this season. That gives her 106 career podium finishes, leaving her just two behind the all-time record of the legendary Janne Ahonen of Finland.

Takanashi is hoping ride her good form to the Nordic World Championships later this month in Oberstdorf, Germany, where she hopes to finally win an individual gold medal that has so far eluded her.