Vogt wins first gold medal in women’s ski jumping

  • Associated Press
  • Tuesday, February 11, 2014 12:15pm
  • SportsSports

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Carina Vogt of Germany has never won a World Cup event but she now owns women’s ski jumping’s first-ever Olympic gold medal.

Sara Takanashi, the World Cup leader in the sport, had been the heavy favorite heading into the Sochi Games, but the 22-year-old Vogt performed when it counted Tuesday, scoring 247.4 points on the normal hill at the Rus-Ski Gorki Jumping Center.

Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver and Coline Mattell of France earned bronze. Takanashi was left in a disappointing fourth.

Vogt, who has four second-place finishes in World Cup events this year, had been quiet in training runs, allowing Takanashi and Iraschko-Stolz to take much of the hype as they dueled for supremacy.

“I can’t find the right words,” Vogt said. “I’m just speechless because training yesterday was not so good. Now I’ve improved today. I’ve not won a World Cup till now. It’s unbelievable. I wouldn’t have imagined that one day before.”

In 2011, the International Olympic Committee agreed to allow the women to compete at Sochi — 90 years after men did at the inaugural Winter Games in 1924.

Takansashi set the tone early, jumping last in the warm-up and beating Iraschko-Stolz by a meter.

When Takanashi’s placing lit up the scoreboard, a group of Japanse fans blew kazoo-like devices and waved a large flagpole containing a carp kite — a fish that the Japanese consider good luck, followed by the Japanese flag, and then a banner with Takanashi’s picture on it.

The carp didn’t bring her much luck.

Takanashi finished the first round in third place, meaning she would jump third-last in the final round, a place she was not used to considering she has led and won so many World Cups this year.

Iraschko-Stolz took the lead with three jumpers to go, leaving Vogt needing a good jump to overtake her. It wasn’t as good as the Austrian’s final jump, but enough to give the German a six-point edge.

Japan had been counting on Takanashi to end a gold medal drought. The country’s last gold came at the 2006 Turin Games when Shizuka Arakawa won the ladies singles in figure skating.

“I couldn’t jump the way I wanted to on both attempts.” Takanashi said. “I came here wanting to do my best. I’m incredibly disappointed.”

Sarah Hendrickson, the 19-year-old defending world champion from Park City, Utah, finished 21st of 30 starters, clearly still affected by right knee surgery she underwent in August. Although she showed improved form Tuesday, she plans to take the rest of the season off.

Two other Americans from Park City competed — Jessica Jerome was 10th and former world champion Lindsey Van 15th.

Before the final, Jerome’s father Peter held a news conference with other American families who had led the fight to get women’s jumping into the Games.

“No one handed this to them,” he said. “Being good at this didn’t get them to where they are tonight. They were jumping as much as they could because they loved the sport and there was no reward other than the personal satisfaction of competing with their peers, challenging themselves and doing well.”

More in Sports

Seahawks shake off slow start, sideline fracas to beat Giants

Russell Wilson throws 3 2nd-half TD passes and Seattle’s defense allows just 177 yards in 24-7 win.

Analysis: Huskies still in good shape at midseason

Despite a loss to ASU before the bye, UW is still in a good spot to repeat in the Pac-12 North.

Seahawks notebook:Baldwin meets with commissioner Goodell

Plus, running back C.J. Prosise gets hurt again and rookie offensive lineman Ethan Pocic debuts.

Grading the Seahawks’ 24-7 win over the Giants

Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 24-7 victory over… Continue reading

REFLECTIONS: Silvertips fall to Thunderbirds in first of 10 games

The Game It was another tough one for the Silvertips who dropped… Continue reading

Thunderbirds hand Silvertips 4th consecutive defeat

Seattle beats Everett 4-3 in the first of 10 scheduled matchups between the two U.S. Division rivals.

QUOTES: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on win vs. Giants

Seattle coach Pete Carroll gives his opening remarks following the Seahawks’ victory over New York.

Sounders wrap up regular season with win over Rapids

Nicolas Lodeiro scores twice to life Seattle to a 3-0 win.

High school football at a crossroads

Local high school football participation numbers are following a downward trend.

Most Read