Jerome 13th, Hughes 21st in Zao World Cup

ZAO, Japan — Americans Jessica Jerome finished 13th and Abby Hughes 21st in the first of two World Cups in Zao, Japan, on Saturday that proved to be a huge weather challenge.

Japanese teammates Sara Takanashi and Yuki Ito were 1st and 2nd and Germany’s Carina Vogt was 3rd. U.S. teammates Alissa Johnson finished 27th and Lindsey Van and Nita Englund didn’t make the top 30.

The first round of jumping took over two hours to complete thanks to numerous weather delays. The second round was canceled after just a handful of jumpers, leaving the first round scores to count as final results.

The athletes compete in Zao again on Sunday. The two Zao competitions serve as the final two Olympic qualifiers before the historic debut of women’s ski jumping in Sochi.  

The U.S. Olympic team for women’s ski jumping will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in Park City, Utah.

Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 Normal Hill women’s event, HS 100

• Jan. 19 – Zao, JPN, World Cup
• Jan. 22 – Olympic team nominations