Sarah Hendrickson (shown at World Championships in Oslo) came up just a few meters short Saturday, finishing second in the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup opener in Lillehammer. (U.S. Ski Team/Tom Kelly)
LILLEHAMMER, Norway (Nov. 24) - Defending FIS Ski Jumping World Cup champion Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) came up just a few meters short, finishing second to rival Sara Takanashi of Japan in the season opener on the Olympic K100 jump in Lillehammer. Hendrickson took the first round lead with a jump of 98.5 meters but was only able to fly 95.0 meters on her second jump as Takanashi, the Junior World Champion, put down a strong 98.0 meter effort. It was the first competition back for Hendrickson after knee surgery last spring. The World Cup now heads for an Olympic test events in Sochi Dec. 7-9.
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup champion Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) finished second in the season opener in Lillehammer to Japan's Sara Takanashi.
Lindsey Van (Park City, UT) was eighth.
It was the first competition back for Hendrickson after having knee surgery this past spring. The 18 year old graduated from Park City's Winter Sports School a week ago.
The women's World Cup heads to Sochi for Olympic test events Dec. 7-9.
QUOTES Sarah Hendrickson On competing against rival Sara Takanashi of Japan I think we both know we're the biggest competitors for each other. She's awesome and has been jumping well and that has carried through since last season. I don't see our competitiveness as a negative thing at all. It probably pushes us both.
Paolo Bernardi, Head World Cup Coach, Women's Ski Jumping USA Today was really, really good. For Sarah, she was coming off knee surgery six months ago and didn't have all that time to train, plus having to cut down her skis by 6 centimeters was tough (to comply with FIS regulations based on weight). So, second place is amazing for her. She just nailed it today. She was super strong and had a lot of pressure of being the reigning World Cup champion. She's just a marvelous champion.