She’s only 17 and barely five feet tall, but schoolgirl ski jumper Sara Takanashi is already eyeing her second world title and could be set to make history at the Sochi Winter Olympics. TOKYO: She’s only 17 and barely five feet tall, but schoolgirl ski jumper Sara Takanashi is already eyeing her second world title and could be set to make history at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Takanashi, who comes from a family of ski jumpers in the snowy Japanese island of Hokkaido, begins her World Cup defence this week after taking the sport by storm last season. Blessed with effortless technique honed alongside her ski jumping brother and father, Takanashi won eight out of 16 World Cup events to become the series’ youngest winner at age 16. Her performances put American star Sarah Hendrickson, winner of the inaugural World Cup series in 2011-2012 but out of sorts this year after knee surgery, in the shade. And with world champion Hendrickson, 19, again struggling with injury, Takanashi has a strong chance of becoming the first ever women’s Olympic ski jumping champion when the category debuts at the Sochi Games in February. Far from being daunted by the Olympics where, presuming… Read full this story
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