ZAO, Japan — Jessica Jerome pulled out an impressive 10th-place finish to lead the Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team in what some called a “weather disaster” of competition in Japan.
Sunday’s trial round was canceled and then the competition finally got under way with 41 competitors after and hour-and-a-half delay due to high winds and heavy snowfall. The second round was promptly canceled after only a few ski jumpers, leaving the first round scores to count as final results.
Alissa Johnson was 20th, a climb from her Saturday performance of 27th and Lindsey Van finished 23rd, improving after she failed to make the top 30 Saturday. Abby Hughes had a good first-round jump, but was disqualified for a bib violation. Up-and-comer Nita Englund — competing in her fourth World Cup event — finished outside of the top 30.
“It's hard to watch good jumps not get what they deserve. But at the same time we know how hard the conditions can be here in Japan,” said Visa Team World Cup coach Erik Renmaelmo. “We just have to focus on our job and give our best. If we keep our heads high, the results will come.”
Sara Takanashi, of Japan, won her 8th World Cup of the season. Germany’s Carina Vogt continued her hot streak on the podium finishing 2nd and Switzerland’s Bigna Windmueller was 3rd.
Thie weekend’s Zao competitions served as the final two Olympic qualifiers before the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The U.S. Olympic team for women’s ski jumping will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in Park City.
Members of the Visa Team head back to Park City, Utah, for training and in preparation for their historic debut in Sochi. The team will not attend the World Cup event in Planica, Slovenia, next weekend.
Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 Normal Hill women’s event, HS 100
Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 Normal Hill women’s event, HS 100
• Jan. 22 – Olympic team nominations