LILLEHAMMER, Norway — Sara Takanashi of Japan won the first women's ski jump World Cup event of the season on Saturday, showing why she is the favorite for gold at the Sochi Olympics.
Takanashi won the overall World Cup title last season. Her biggest rival — American Sarah Hendrickson — is sidelined with an injury.
She jumped 102 and 96.5 meters on Saturday for a total of 286 points, beating Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria and Gianina Ernst of Germany, who were tied for second with 270 points.
In the men's event, Austria's Gregor Schlierenzauer topped Taku Takeuchi of Japan with jumps of 105.5 and 97 meters for a total of 288.5 points.
Takeuchi was five points behind with leaps of 99 and 100.5. Richard Freitag of Germany was third.