Ski Jumping - Takanashi and Hendrickson on form ahead of World Championships

Sara Takanashi and Sarah Hendrickson are set to go head-to-head for the right to be crowned only the third ladies' ski jumping world champion after leaping within a metre of each in training.

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Ski Jumping - Takanashi seals victory number eight for the season
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Sara Takanashi of Japan (Reuters)

With only 45 competitors on the start list for the ladies' ski jumping event at the Nordic World Ski Championships, qualification wasn't needed with two more training rounds scheduled instead.

Newly crowned World Cup champion Takanashi, stripping Hendrickson of the inaugural title she won last season, lead the way in the first round in Val di Fiemme with a leap of 101m.

American Hendrickson was second after leaping 99m before responding to Takanashi's effort with a distance of 102m during the second training run, a measurement that was not to be beaten in Italy.

Jacqueline Seifriedsberger, who opted out of the first training round, was second with a jump of 99.5m with Anette Sagen and Coline Mattel both also ahead of Takanashi who was fifth with 92.5m.

Injury rules out Daniela Iraschko, the defending world champion, of Friday's competition while the inaugural winner from Liberec 2009 Lindsey Van was 11th and then sixth in Val di Fiemme.

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