Sarah Hendrickson back on top of podium

HINTERZARTEN, Germany — Sarah Hendrickson snagged a first and a second place in Hinterzarten  — a jump she knows well. She won here a year ago too, setting the hill record.

Sara Takanashi, JPN, Sarah Hendrickson, USA, Coline Mattel, FRA. Photo by ladiesskijumping.com  

Sara Takanashi, JPN, Sarah Hendrickson, USA, Coline Mattel, FRA. Photo by ladiesskijumping.com

 

Hendrickson led the U.S. team Saturday, which bounced back from last weekend’s sluggish performance in Schonach, Germany. Five U.S. jumpers finished in the top 22 Saturday. Lindsey Van was 11th, Jessica Jerome 12th, Alissa Johnson 21st, Abby Hughes 22nd, and Nina Lussi 43rd. 

“It feels really good to be back on the podium,” said Hendrickson, who jumped 97.5 and 98.5 meters (243.6 points) on Saturday. She edged out World Cup overall leader Sara Takanashi, of Japan, by 1.2 points. France’s Coline Mattel was 3rd.

“I had very good training earlier this week in Hinterzarten and so I came in here with confidence. I've liked this hill in the past and just used positive thoughts and got it done,” she said. Hendrickson’s hill record last year was 107.5 meters.

On Sunday, she finished second to Japan's Sara Takanashi.  Hendrickson jumped 103 and 101.5 meters but was not able to  match Takanashi's 105 meter second jump for the win.

Coach Paolo Bernardi said Sarah is learning again how to handle the pressure of the competition in the right way — by doing her best jump at the right time.

“This week she has started to jump on her level and her victory Saturday in a super tight competition is awesome,” he said.

Bernardi was satisfied to see his team come back after some disappointing jumps in Schonach. “The team is almost back on the right track. With five in the top 22 Saturday, it's promising. We have much more left in our tank.”

In a scary moment in the first round Saturday, reigning World Champion Daniela Iraschko, of Austria, crashed in the outrun and lay motionless. Coaches say she never lost consciousness, but injured her knee and underwent surgery Sunday in Austria.

The World Cup takes a break before resuming in Japan in early February. World Junior Championships take place Jan. 19-27 in Liberec, Czech Republic. The ladies individual event is Jan. 24 and the team event is Jan. 26.