She did it again, the American teenager Sarah Hendrickson has showed who is the female ski jumper of the hour and grabbed her third World Cup victory out of four competitions so far, today in Val di Fiemme (Italy).
‘I’m so happy to get on the first step of the podium once again’, Hendrickson said, ‘I felt great on both jumps and tomorrow I’ll try to race as well as I did today’.
Under fair weather conditions and in front of many spectators, all wearing a pink piece of clothing, Hendrickson set the recently renewed Val di Fiemme ski jumping stadium on fire from the first jump, reaching 134,8 points and preceding teammates Lindsey Van and Jessica Jerome, Slovenian Katja Pozun and Maja Vtic, French Coline Mattel (not a great day for her today, as she closed 10th) and Norwegian Anette Sagen. Only 2011 World Champion Daniela Iraschko of Austria did better than the young jumper from Park City, showing a jump on 107 meters and reaching 139,2 points. The challenge was on between the young American and the 28-year old Austrian champion.
Before today’s stage in Val di Fiemme, Hendrickson was in the lead of the overall, but knew very well that the way to the eventual victory was unbelievably long. Her second jump from the Italian HS106 jump has been the longest of the day (107,5 meters) and the judges placed her on the provisional first step of the podium with a total of 277.2 points. Daniela Iraschko had to do better, but the farthest she could jump in the final round was ‘only’ 103 meters and despite the high amount of points collected from the judges, she had to surrender to the American rival and get the silver medal. ‘My goal was to finally grab a medal today’, Iraschko claimed at the end of the race. ‘Hendrickson is in a great shape in this moment and for me it’s not easy to repeat the Oslo performance. However, the World Cup is still very long, and today’s race was my best one for this season’. Iraschko seized her first medal in current season and so did Norway’s Anette Sagen. ‘I’m very satisfied with this third place, but I know I can do better, and tomorrow I’ll try harder’.
Best Italian in front of the home crowd was Evelyn Insam as 16th. Sarah Hendrickson extended her lead in the overall World Cup ranking. She scored 329 points in four competitions, and is now followed by Iraschko (193 points), Van and Mattel (166 points).
The FIS Women’s World Cup SJ continues tomorrow with the fifth leg, still in Val di Fiemme. Trial jump at 3.30pm followed by qualification jump at 4.30pm.
Entry to races is free of charge, and for each person inside the stadium organisers will be donating € 2 to the Italian Association against Leukaemia-Lymphoma and Myeloma (AIL), Unicef, the Fondriest for Children – Fiemme 2013 project (supported by Italy’s former road cycling champion Maurizio Fondriest) and the Paediatric Haematology Oncology Unit at the University of Padua Hospital.