Ski Jumping - Takanashi edges closer to World Cup title in Ljubno

Japanese teenager Sara Takanashi claimed her third successive women's ski jumping World Cup win in the first of two events in Slovenia, the last round before the Nordic World Ski Championships.

Ski Jumping - Teenage Takanashi is Japan's first World Cup champ

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Sara Takanashi

The 16-year-old's bid to overthrow American Sarah Hendrickson, who won the inaugural World Cup title last season, has gathered pace this month with Takanashi doing the double in Zao last weekend.

That gave her a 230-point lead at the top of the overalls standings going into another double header in Ljubno and she extended it by beating Hendrickson for her third straight World Cup win.

Takanashi was three points ahead of the American after jumping 88.5m in the first round for a total of 111.5 and she increased the gap between the two over ten after round two.

She leapt 88m for 113.6 points this time for an overall total of 225.1 that Hendrickson simply couldn't compete with as she maintained second with a combined effort of 214.2.

France's Coline Mattel, who has won two World Cups this season, placed third with 212.1 before two home jumpers in Spela Rogelj and Katja Pozun in fourth and fifth respectively.

There are now just three World Cup events left this season, one more in Ljubno and two in Norway after the Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme in less than a week’s time.

And with a maximum of 300 points on offer from those three rounds Takanashi's win in the first event in Slovenia has put her 250 points ahead of second-placed Hendrickson overall.

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