SAPPORO, Japan — Park City’s Sarah Hendrickson was 3rd and 7th in a pair of tough and windy competitions in Sapporo this weekend, boosting her to second place overall on the World Cup.
Hours before Sunday’s event, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake rattled the northern Japanese island of Hakkaido, the epicenter of which was about 120 miles east Sapporo. There were no reports of damage, though it made for an interesting start to Sunday’s competition.
Hendrickson fought through multiple gate change delays to finish on the podium in 3rd place with jumps of 93.5 and 87.5 meters. U.S. teammates Lindsey Van clinched 8th with jumps of 91 and 87 meters, Jessica Jerome was a strong 15th with jumps of 87 and 90.5 meters, and Abby Hughes was 29th with jumps of 80 and 78 meters. Austria’s Jacqueline Seifriedsberger claimed her first World Cup victory and Norway’s Anette Sagen had a huge leap of 99 meters in her second round to take 2nd.
“It was typical weather for this area and made the comp very difficult,” said Van. “You never know what kind of wind you are going to get, so it is like a lotto game. I enjoy the randomness most of the time, though. It is an outdoor sport and is always fun.”
Saturday’s event ended after the first round of jumping due to high and irregular winds, leaving Hendrickson in 7th, Jerome in 10th, Van 28th and Hughes 34th. France's Coline Mattel was 1st over Seifriedsberger and Sagen.
Home country favorite and current World Cup leader Sara Takanashi, 16, finished 12th on Saturday and 5th on Sunday.
World Cup competition continues Feb. 9-10 in Zao, Japan.