Katharina Althaus won the women’s ski jumping World Cup in Lillehammer on Wednesday.
The three-time world champion from Planica edged out individual world champion Alexandria Loutitt of Canada and overall World Cup winner Eva Pinkelnig of Austria.
“I’m really happy, it was definitely not an easy competition today, the gates were changed quite often, but that’s just Lillehammer, it’s part of it here somehow,” said a delighted Althaus who also picked up important points in the RAW AIR overall standings with her victory. Althaus is still 20.8 points behind the leading Slovenian Ema Klinec who showed another strong performance today and finished 6th.
With second place the Canadian Alexandria Loutitt demonstrated once again that she has arrived in the absolute top of the world. The 19-year-old is undoubtedly the surprise of the current season.
“Although they were not the best jumps I have ever done, they were very solid. I am very happy with the way I finished my last jump and there is still something left for me to chase in Vikersund,” explained Loutitt.
Eva Pinkelnig who secured the first overall World Cup victory of her career just two days ago in the same place was happy about third place. Pinkelnig has recovered from her cold and is approaching her best form again: “It was pretty good, my health is better now, my cold is better and therefore it is easier to warm up and jump. The jumps were good, the hill was perfectly prepared and the jury did a good job waiting so we could have a fair competition. Congratulations to Katharina, I am absolutely ready for ski flying now” said Pinkelnig.
Fourth place went to Selina Freitag ahead of Silje Opseth and Ema Klinec. Chiara Kreuzer and Maren Lundby finished in 7th and 8th place.
Drama for Yuki Ito
The unlucky one of the day was Yuki Ito from Japan. As 5th in the RAW AIR overall ranking, Ito had actually secured her qualification for the RAW AIR final and thus the ski flying. But then a momentous mishap happened to Ito at the start of the first round: Ito failed to start within the given time window, which resulted in an automatic disqualification.
Ito slipped from 5th to 20th place in the RAW AIR overall ranking and should therefore normally not be in the field of 14 starters at the ski flying premiere in Vikersund. Austria’s Julia Mühlbacher, ranked 15th, will not start on the monster bakken in Vikersund, so there will only be 14 athletes in total at the start.
After the competition, however, all coaches were in favor of Ito’s eligibility. Overnight it will be checked if there can be a special start authorization for Ito. A final decision is expected on Thursday morning.
In the RAW AIR overall ranking, Slovenia’s Ema Klinec is still in the lead and finished 6th today. The winner of the day, Katharina Althaus, is in second place, 20.8 points behind.
For the women now the first training in Ski Flying in Vikersund is scheduled for Friday. Start is at 10:00 a.m.,
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