Sarah Hendrickson, shown here from an earlier competition, soared to silver at the Nordic Junior Worlds in Turkey. (Getty Images)
ERZURUM, Turkey (Feb. 24) - In a battle of the teens, Japan's Sara Takanashi took gold on the HS109 meter hill in Erzurum to take the Nordic Junior World Ski Championships over the USA's Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) by a 276.5 to 265.0 margin. The two were tied after the first jump before the Youth Olympic Games champion soared to the win in Turkey. Takanashi soared a huge 108.5 meters on her first jump but it was only good enough to tie World Cup leader Hendrickson. The Japanese jumper went 107.5 to Hendrickson's 100.5 on the second ride to take the win.
World Cup leader Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT/Park City Nordic Ski Club) soared to a silver medal at Nordic Junior World Championships in Turkey.
It was the second career Junior Worlds medal for Hendrickson who won bronze in 2010. She is the only American ski jumper, male or female, to have won a medal at Junior Worlds.
Women's Ski Jumping USA athletes Nina Lussi (Lake Placid, NY/N.Y. Ski Educational Foundation) was 29th with Nita Englund (Iron Mountain, MI/Kiwanis Ski Club) 35th
Competition in the women's World Cup will resume in early March in Zao, Japan with three events and the finale a week later at Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway.
QUOTES Sarah Hendrickson I did not have good training jumps during the last few days, so I'm actually very pleased with the result today. After the first round Sara and I tied and that meant a lot of pressure to me because I had to show a really good jump in the final round. It was hard to handle and we are also at the end of a long season, so I think I managed to do the best I could here at the Junior World Championships so far.
Alan Alborn, Junior Worlds Women's Jumping Coach The Team really stepped it up today. Sarah was the favorite to win and was under enormous pressure. She pulled out a solid second place behind Sara Takanashi of Japan - a very promising young jumper. Nita Englund and Nina Lussi had their best jumps of the season in the competition so I am very proud of them all. They are the future of women's ski jumping in the USA.
Paolo Bernardi, Women's Ski Jumping USA Coach Sarah and Sara (Takanashi) are the two strongest jumpers on the Earth right now. They are both shooting stars. It was nice to watch a battle to win because it was such a high level of ski jumping.