Sarah Hendrickson of the U.S. takes first place during the FIS Women's Ski Jumping World Cup on February 11, 2012 in Ljubno, Slovenia. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Stanko Gruden)
LJUBNO, Slovenia (Feb. 11) – Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) went head-to-head with Japan’s Sara Takanashi in the final jump in Ljubno to come away with her fifth World Cup win of the season despite a hill record set by third place finisher Daniela Iraschko of Austria. Hendrickson led after the first jump and stayed calm after a second jump challenge by Iraschko and consistent jumping from Takanashi, the Youth Olympic Games champion, to extend her World Cup lead. The women jump again on Sunday.
Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) won her fifth World Cup of the season with jumps of 85.5 and 87.5 meters.
Three Women’s Ski Jumping USA athletes cracked the top 10 with Jessica Jerome fifth and Lindsey Van eighth (both Park City, UT).
Austria’s Daniela Iraschko was well back after the first jump but soared to a women’s hill record 90.0 meters on her second jump.
Officials dropped the start bar by one spot for Takanashi and Hendrickson, the last two jumpers. Takanashi outjumped Hendrickson on the second ride, but dropped on wind calculation while Hendrickson gained.
The win boosted Hendrickson’s lead to 156 over Iraschko with five events remaining.
The women jump again Sunday before taking a three-week break. The inaugural season concludes in early March with three events in Japan and a finale in Oslo.
QUOTES Sarah Hendrickson The crowd here in Ljubno is awsome. It’s great fun jumping when so many people are cheering for you!
I had two good jumps and I'm happy with the outcome. The fight between (Sara) Takanashi and me and (Daniela) Iraschko, with her outstanding second jump, was close.
The overall World Cup is becoming more and more reality but there is still a long way to go.
Jessica Jerome I jumped this hill the last time about two years ago. It's an older hill and much harder than a lot of the other hills we jump, but it was in great condition nonetheless.
I had better jumps today overall for sure. The wind wasn't as big of a factor today as it has been in other competitions in the past, but it still played a small role. I was able to put two pretty good jumps together and have a much better day, so I am happy with that.
Paolo Bernardi, Women's Ski Jumping USA Head Coach Sarah had tough wind today and jumped better than everyone. She deserved this victory. All the coaches were amazed when you have this kind of wind and Sarah still had a great jump.
It was a good decision for the jury to move the bar down for the final two jumpers. The jury knew that both Sarah (Hendrickson) and Sara (Takanashi) were both jumping very well and that they were going to battle for first and second.
Sarah’s going event to event, focusing on jumping her best in each competition. Now more athletes are stepping up. But she feels in great shape but she’s focused to win in each competition. She’s in the perfect spot now. After today she’s in a solid lead mathematically.
Jessica (Jerome) is doing a great job. She’s super strong. She needs to fix a few things. She’s super aggressive. Today after a pretty good training she stepped up a lot in the trial round and had a lot more confidence. Fifth is OK. In my mind she must always be top six.
Lindsey (Van) today did great. Yesterday’s training was a little rough. But she’s a fighter and stepped up in the comp. In first jump she hurt her knee and still was able to jump eighth - sixth in the round.
Overall I’m really happy with everyone today. The team did a great job. Today we won the Nations Cup points and still lead the season standings.