Notodden, Norway — Norway’s Anette Sagen, the 2009 World Championships Bronze medalist, ended a two-year victory drought in Continental Cup (COC) competition Saturday on home snow in Notodden, topping reigning World Champion Daniela Iraschko, Austria, and Sarah Hendrickson, USA.
Sagen trailed Iraschko, who won Friday’s COC comp in Notodden, after the first jump on the normal hill (HS 98) Saturday before rallying to win by a full point. Hendrickson continued her torrid start this season with her third straight podium finish, including a second-place result on Friday. Last weekend in Lillehammer, Norway, Hendrickson became the first woman to win an International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup competition.
The Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team placed four jumpers in the top 25 among a field of nearly 50. Alissa Johnson improved 10 spots from Friday’s showing to 14th, Jessica Jerome was 18th and Abby Hughes 24th.
“The level of competition the last two days is probably the highest I have ever seen it,” said Johnson, who added that every competition so far this season has had a different athlete and nation reach the podium. “Today (Saturday) for me was a lot closer to my training jumps during the week in Lillehammer, so I was happy about that.”
After the decision by the International Olympic Committee in April 2011 to add a women’s ski jumping event to the Sochi 2014 Games, countries around the globe have increased funding and support for their women’s ski jumping programs.
“A lot of the other teams and girls have stepped up and the competition is super close,” Hughes said. “Seeing so many girls jump close to the K is showing me how our sport continues to grow and mature.”
Competition now breaks for the holidays, with the Visa Team set to return to Europe to resume World Cup competition Jan. 6 in Schonach, Germany.
Women’s Normal Hill
(with wind system calculation)
1. Anette Sagen, NOR, (97.5, 97.5) 259.0
2. Daniela Iraschko, AUT, (96.5, 98.0) 258.0
3. Sarah Hendrickson, USA, (95.5, 96.0) 251.5
14. Alissa Johnson, USA (90.0, 89.5) 222.0
18. Jessica Jerome, USA (88.0, 88.0) 212.5
24. Abby Hughes, USA (86.0, 85.5) 203.0