Sarah Hendrickson, shown in an earlier World Cup win, sealed the overall World Cup title in a rare two-event day. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Stanko Gruden)
ZAO, Japan (March 3) - A season which began with an historic debut World Cup win by Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) reached its pinnacle Saturday as the American teen clinched the overall title in the inaugural World Cup season for women's ski jumping. Hendrickson, 17, opened the day with a win then hung on to the runnerup spot in a rare second event to extend her World Cup lead to 295 points over Austrian Daniela Iraschko with two events remaining. Sara Takanashi won the second competition with a new hill record. The World Cup resumes with a third event Sunday in Zao before it heads to Oslo, Norway for a finale at next weekend's Holmenkollen Ski Festival where Hendrickson will receive the first crystal globe.
Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) finished second in a weather-shortened second competition in Zao after winning the opening event.
Hendrickson soared 95.5 meters, unable to match the new hill record set by Sara Takanashi at 102.5. In the first event, Hendrickson and Takanashi shared the hill record at 99.5 meters.
The finish gave Hendrickson a 295 point margin over Austrian Daniela Iraschko with just two events remaining.
Hendrickson has won seven of 11 World Cups and was second three times.
The second round was canceled due to warm temperatures after a delay.
QUOTES Sarah Hendrickson I wanted to follow the path of Lindsey Van who won the first World Championship gold. I'm proud to have achieved something the first individual World Cup victory and the first overall World Cup title.
I know that this is a historical moment but I will need months or even years to realize what it really means.
It’s pretty crazy and I don’t know how to put it into words. I knew I had to jump really well and that Sara (Takanashi) was catching up to me for the overall. I felt a lot of pressure, but that’s why I love ski jumping.