The Story So Far
There has been a Continental Cup in Women’s Ski Jumping since the 2004/05 season. Anette Sagen won the COC for the first 6 years, up until the end of the 2008/09 season. Then, for the next 3 years (2009/10 to 2011/12), it was the turn of Daniela Iraschko (who, incidentally, had been 2nd behind Sagen in 2007/08 and 2008/09, and 3rd back in the inaugural season in 2004/05)
It was these two women who led the campaign for Women’s Ski Jumping to be included at the Olympics. And, after a long battle, they finally got their way when it was announced in 2011. On the back of this, the FIS promptly organised an inaugural Women’s World Cup for the 2011/12 season.
In the 2011/12 season, it was largely the same girls competing in both the Continental Cup and the World Cup. Sagen was coming back from injury, so it was expected that Iraschko would dominate the inaugural World Cup. However, she had two talented teenagers to deal with – Sarah Hendrickson from Utah, and Sara Takanashi from Japan.
Hendrickson won the first ever Women’s World Cup competition from Coline Mattel. In the next competition, none of those three jumpers were on the podium. But, for the rest of the season after that, Hendrickson was never out of the top 2. She had 8 wins and 3 seconds. Iraschko won both Hinzenbach competitions, while Takanashi won one of the Zao competitions.
In the first half of the season, Takanashi had first come to our attention by taking silver at the second competition at Hintenzarten. Then, the following week, she dominated the competition at the Youth Olympics. It was a sign of things to come.
During the second half of the season, it was without doubt the Sarah and Sara show. In the last 6 competitions, they locked out the top 2 positions in every competition! Hendrickson won 5 from Takanashi, while Takanashi won 1 from Hendrickson.
So, unsurprisingly, Hendrickson led the Women’s World Cup for the whole of the inaugural season. Iraschko’s consistency over the whole season meant she finished second, while Takanashi’s run in the second half of the season netted her third overall.
The Sarah and Sara top 2 lock-out continued into the first 2 competitions of the 2012/13 season. Takanashi won the first (at Lillehammer), while Hendrickson won the second (at Sochi). Sagen was third in both competitions.
The third competition, also at Sochi, was a joint win for Mattel and Iraschko, with Takanshi third.
Takanashi went on to equal Hendrickson’s record of 8 wins from the previous year. Hendrickson had a win mid-season in Hintenzarten, but did not have another until the World Championships. This was quickly followed by 2 more at the final 2 rounds, which were also in Norway.
Takanashi won the World Cup by over 200 points from Hendrickson, who in turn was over 200 points ahead of Mattel (who had 2 wins, 2 seconds and 3 thirds). Sagen finished up 5th (with 1 win, 1 second and 3 thirds)
Iraschko had a bad fall at Hintenzarten, and tore her ACL, putting her out for the rest of the season. She ended up finishing 10th overall (with 1 win and 2 thirds).
There have been quite a few jumpers who have torn their ACL in the past year. The most significant was Hendrickson, who tore her ACL over the summer, and has not competed at all this season. She is due to make her comeback at the Olympics.
Iraschko made her comeback at the first competition of the 2013/14 Women’s World Cup. She finished joint 2nd with a girl young enough to be her daughter! (Gianina Ernst claims to be 15, but she looks more like 10! )
So far this season, there have been 11 rounds. Takanashi has won 8 of them. It took until the 5th competition at Chaykovsky for somebody to beat her, and that person was Irina Avvakumova.
In previous years, Avvakumova was more known for her hair than her jumping. She has extremely long hair that goes down to her hips. She has it plaited, and when she jumps, it spins behind her like a helicopter’s rotors! It is really funny to watch! Whenever Patrick Winterton is commentating on her, he frequently speculates about how much the hair is slowing her down when she is coming through the air.
But, with the Olympics in her home country, Avvakumova has really stepped up this season. She has been on the podium a total of 6 times (1 win, 1 second and 4 thirds), and is currently lying 3rd in the standings with 471 points… roughly half the points that Takanashi has (940)!
After Avvakumova’s win, Takanashi won the 4 Japanese competitions. At the most recent 2 competitions in Planica, Iraschko won with Takanashi second.
Iraschko is currently lying 4th in the World Cup standings on 422 points, and so is 49 points behind Avvakumova. Mattel is currently lying 5th on 307 points, but with Yuki Ito only 3 points behind her.
The jumper I have not mentioned yet is the girl who is currently 2nd in the World Cup – Germany’s Carina Vogt. Before this season, she had only been on the podium twice – a 3rd at Hintenzarten in the 2012 Summer Grand Prix, and a 3rd at Zao in the 2012/13 World Cup.
This season, she has only been off the podium 3 times! Although she has yet to win a competition, she has had 4 seconds and 4 thirds this season.
It is this consistency that has put her into 2nd in the World Cup, 334 points behind Takanashi, but 135 ahead of Avvakumova.
Over the past four years, there have been lots of other girls that have been up near the front for a period of time, but have dropped back down again. But, I suppose that is normal for a championship that is relatively new.
So, going into Sochi, I believe that the following will be the ones to watch:
Sara Takanashi (obviously!)
Sarah Hendrickson (if she is fit enough)
Daniela Iraschko (currently on a run of wins)
Irina Avvakumova (but the pressure might be too much)
Carina Vogt (but probably more likely a podium than a win)
Outside chances for a podium:
Any of the Slovenian girls
Hope this helps
BBC (all times GMT)
Saturday 8th February 2014
15:15 – 16:00 SJ Men’s Individual Normal Hill Trial Round
16:30 – 17:30 SJ Men’s Individual Normal Hill Qualifying
Sunday 9th February 2014
16:30 – 17:00 SJ Men’s Individual Normal Hill Trial Round
17:30 – 18:14 SJ Men’s Individual Normal Hill Round 1
18:45 – 19:06 SJ Men’s Individual Normal Hill Round 2
Tuesday 11th February 2014
16:30 – 17:00 SJ Women’s Individual Normal Hill Trial Round
17:30 – 18:20 SJ Women’s Individual Normal Hill Round 1
18:25 – 18:56 SJ Women’s Individual Normal Hill Round 2
Wednesday 12th February 2014
08:30 – 09:00 NC Individual Normal Hill Trial Round
09:30 – 10:30 NC Individual Normal Hill Competition
12:30 – 13:15 NC Individual 10km Cross-Country
Friday 14th February 2014
16:15 – 16:56 SJ Men’s Individual Big Hill Trial Round
17:30 – 18:45 SJ Men’s Individual Big Hill Qualifying
Saturday 15th February 2014
16:30 – 17:00 SJ Men’s Individual Big Hill Trial Round
17:30 – 18:14 SJ Men’s Individual Big Hill Round 1
18:45 – 19:06 SJ Men’s Individual Big Hill Round 2
Monday 17th February 2014
16:15 – 16:45 SJ Men’s Team Big Hill Trial Round
17:15 – 18:02 SJ Men’s Team Big Hill Round 1
18:22 – 18:57 SJ Men’s Team Big Hill Round 2
Tuesday 18th February 2014
08:30 – 09:00 NC Individual Big Hill Trial Round
09:30 – 10:30 NC Individual Big Hill Competition
12:00 – 13:00 NC Individual 10km Cross-Country
Thursday 20th February 2014
08:30 – 09:00 NC Team Big Hill Trial Round
09:30 – 10:30 NC Team Big Hill Competition
12:00 – 13:00 NC Team 4x5km Cross-Country
Just realised that it might be useful to include links to the previous results at Sochi
08.12.2012 (Women's World Cup Normal Hill Competition 1)
09.12.2012 (Women's World Cup Normal Hill Competition 2)
Hope this helps
Yes, finally the old, macho, conservative men let the women compete at olympics in the sport they love. I'm happy for Sagen, Iraschko and the other fighters who can now compete at the olympics before getting too old. And great for the younger ones to have this opportunity.
Wow CaroLiza_fan, you must be a true fan of ski jumping. Thanks for all informations. I'll really try to watch this historical women's ski jumping competition. Kudos to you and them. My heart will be with Anette Sagen.
By the way what about Lindsey Van? You don't think she is a contender anymore?
Lindsay Van made the US team but the rest of the world has caught up with her in a big way. She's fairly unlikely to medal - heck, arguably she's third best on the 3 women US team.
That means that there are only 30 slots in the Women's competition, whereas there are 70 in the Men's competition.
Now I can understand that some countries do not have a lot of jumpers to choose from for their Women's teams. Like Austria, the powerhouse of Men's ski jumping, only really have Iraschko in the Women's, as Jacqueline Seifriedsberger is injured.
But, there are other countries that do have a large reserve of talent. I have already singled out Slovenia. They have such a depth of talent that they would have struggled to cut their team down to 5 never mind 3!
It's just not right that there are only going to be 30 in the competition. Like, if they had even made it 4 jumpers per country, it would have been fairer.
Also, part of the excitement of a ski jumping competition is the element of only the top 30 going through to the second round. So, the jumpers have extra incentive to really go for it in the first round. With only thirty jumpers altogether, everybody will go through anyway.
Oh, and it would have been nice if there had been a Women's team competition as well.
And, when the Women's World Cup started up, Eurosport started showing it too, and I got into it too.
International Eurosport shows nearly all the women's ski jumping competitions live. But, for some reason I cannot understand, British Eurosport shows hardly any of the competitions live. And it is only once in a blue moon that they would show highlights (and when they do, it is in the middle of the night!)
The most annoying thing is that, most of the time, it is NOT a case that British is showing something else live. No, British puts on repeats of things they have shown a dozen times already!
Because of this, I have missed a lot of the competitions over the past couple of years, through forgetting to look up the International listings and hence not knowing when they were on. So, I had to delve into the results for each season to write this article.
Of course, I remembered how the likes of Takanashi, Hendrickson and Iraschko got on in previous seasons. But, it was the others that feature near the top for a while and then drop down again that I was not sure about. The likes of Mattel, Sagen, Ito, Seifriedsberger, Van, Jerome Insam, Tanaka, Pretorius.
So, I had to look up the results to judge whether they were likely to be serious contenders or not. And, although I forgot to include Yuki Ito in my list, I stand by my choices.
Yes, Van had a top 5 in Sapporo a couple of weeks ago, but that was in a depleted field. She has not got a podium for nearly 2 years. And although she occasionally gets a top 10, since the World Championships last season, more often than not she has been outside the top 20.
It may have been even longer since Jessie Jerome was on the podium (but by only a couple of weeks!), but unlike Van, it is only on the rare occasion that Jerome has been outside the top 15. And in the past 12 months, she has hardly ever been out of the top 10.
So, I hate to say it, but Van is currently the weakest link on the American team. That is assuming that Hendrickson is fully fit, of course.
All in all, I'm really looking forward to the competition!
You know, I have been given a lot of shocks this week. And it is all because of one particular female ski jumper…
Shortly after the New Year, the Nordic Combined World Cup and Women’s Ski Jumping World Cup had a joint meeting in Chaykovsky, Russia.
During the Nordic Combined in the morning, I noticed somebody in the crowd with a big flag pole. And attached to the flagpole was the flag of Udmurtia.
Being a big fan of a certain figure skater from Udmurtia (no prizes for guessing who!), I got all excited, and started looking through the FIS bios of all the Russians that were competing. However, none of them were from Udmurtia.
Then, during the women’s ski jumping later in the day, I noticed that the flag was still being flown. So, I got all excited, and started looking through the FIS bios of all the Russians that were competing. However, none of them were from Udmurtia.
Whilst researching my write-up for this thread last week, I was looking through Wikipedia for past results (like the ISU website, the FIS website has recently been re-designed, and it is now very hard to find things from previous seasons).
When I was on the page about this season’s World Cup, I was looking at the “achievements” section at the bottom, and noticed that it said Irina Avvakumova was in her first season. And I thought “that’s not right – I remember watching her hair spinning around last season!”
So I clicked on her own Wikipedia page to check her results. As it turned out, they don’t give results tables for individual jumpers on Wikipedia like they do with figure skaters. But something in the write-up just jumped out at me as I was scrolling down the page: her Dad is from Izhevsk, the capital of Udmurtia!
So the flag was for Irina!
Then, a few days ago, I thought “Mmmm. Now that I know that there are two sportswomen I like that are of good Udmurt stock, maybe I should make a collage of them and the Udmurt flag…”
So, I went off looking for a good photo of Irina to use. I wanted one that clearly showed her hair spinning behind her as she flew through the air. But the Google Image search didn’t come up with any.
Then I thought “Maybe Wikipedia will have one”. So, I went back to Irina’s Wikipedia page and looked at the profile pic they had for her. And, while looking at it I spotted her age, and got a big shock. I had always thought she looked about 17 or 18. She’s actually a lot older – 22, to be precise.
But that was not the end of the shocks. I started reading about her, and noticed that her Mum had a different surname (Taktaeva). And I was thinking “eh?” Then, I read on and found out why – Irina had got married a couple of years ago!!! Avvakumova was her married name!
Oh well, I suppose that's another Udmurt girl I won't have a chance with!
Then I read on and found out Irina was now divorced!
I decided to temporarily stop my search for a photo there. That was enough shocks for one day. But, there was still more to come.
The next day, when I started searching again, I got the biggest shock of them all. I had done another image search in Google, and it had come up with some new results. Photos of Irina… in her undies!!!
I’ll be honest, at first I thought it was just one of these buckshee results that come up in searches. But, looking carefully at her face, I realised that it was actually Irina.
It’s amazing how big a difference putting on some make-up can make!
I can tell you something – Irina scrubs up well!
Just to explain, these photos of Irina were part of a lingerie shoot that some of the female Russians that were going to compete in the Olympics had done. There were also pictures of Ekaterina Bobrova on the same page, but those particular photos have been circulating for a good while now.
Anyway, I’d better get back to searching for spinning hair photos, so that I can make a start on my collage!
All 30 reaching the final takes away some of the excitement.
By the way, at World Championships 2013, there was a mixed competition:
Olympics could have that without inviting more competitors. As for now I think biathlon is the only mixed team sport at olympics.
LOL about your shock story on Irina. Hope you find photos for your collage
Just wanted to let you know that I have gone through the schedules on the BBC website, and had added all the Ski Jumping related events to the second post in this thread.
But, be warned that there are no reliable TV listings. So, we will just have to rely on looking up the livestreams at the times that we know there is ski jumping being held.
Hope this helps
^ of course the two new team competitions... I knew and still forgot about them
ETA though I'm not sure about luge. It dosn't say mixed...?
The day is finally here - Olympic Women's Ski Jumping!!!
Good luck to everybody taking part!!!
Unfortunately, the start of the first round overlaps with the end of the Pair's Short.
The Trial round starts at 16:30 GMT (the same time as the Group 3 Warm-up for the Pairs Short gets underway), but like the Men's Trial Round, the BBC are not broadcasting it.
The first round of the Competition itself starts at 17:30 GMT (when Berton / Hortorek will be getting their scores).
The BBC coverage on the TV will not be starting until the Curling is over. So, if you want to watch it all, you will have to use the website.
Official BBC Livestreaming Channel
The LIVE coverage on the TV is due to start at 18:00 GMT on BBCi1
BBCi1 is available via:
Digital terrestrial (UK only): Ch. 301 on Freeview
Digital cable (UK only): Ch. 991 on Virgin Media
Digital satellite (Europe): Ch. 977 on SkyDigital
Astra 28.2E, Transponder 45 (10.773H. MBaud 22,000. FEC 5/6).
NOTE: The channel you want for the skating is labelled “BBC RB 1”
Hope this helps
Well, that was a bit of an upset...
I'm still in shock. But, then again, I only finished watching the recording this morning! (Really wish I had watched it last night, as I would have loved to have seen the podium, but the BBC cut it off for the TV coverage to go to a screen of football results. Grrrrr )
Takanashi dominates the World Cup for the past 2 seasons, and doesn't even get on the podium at the Olympics.
Like, everybody was expecting this to be a guaranteed gold for her!
But, maybe that was the problem. Sara is still very young. And the pressure and expectation on her shoulders must have been very immense.
When Iraschko won both competitions at Planica a couple of weeks ago, it was a bit of a worry. Was this a sign that the pressure of the upcoming Olympics was getting to Takanashi? But then Takanashi came back and won both competitions at Hinzenbach last weekend. So, we thought nothing more of it.
If not Takanashi, I would have definitely had Iraschko for the win. And it would have been a great result for her if she had. Not only for nostalgia's sake (the "old warhorse" winning the first Olympic competition), but also because she had done so much for the sport, and had played such a big role in getting it where it is today.
You could see from the disappointment when the result came through that Daniela thought she had won the Gold.
But, that honour went to Carina Vogt. What a time to get your first win!
Although Vogt has been consistently on the podium all season, I have never seen her as potential winner this season. But, she did it... and at the best time possible.
Like this is only the second time she has ever beat Takanashi - the first being in Chaykovsky at the start of January (Vogt was 2nd, with Takanashi 3rd). So, Carina obviously likes Russia! (or, should that be Russia likes Carina...?!)
And, although I put her down as a dark horse for the podium, I was not really expecting Coline Mattel to actually achieve it! Like, she has only had 1 World Cup podium this season!
Yes, Mattel was 2nd behind Takanashi at Junior Worlds a couple of weeks ago. But, by definition, there were a lot of older jumpers missing from that competition. The likes of Iraschko, Vogt, Avvakumova, who all have been regularly beating her this season.
Apart from Takanashi not even getting on the podium, the biggest disappointment was Irina Avvakumova only getting 16th. For me, that was definitely pressure that was Irina's un-doing. Not only was it a home Games for her, but she is the only Russian that is any way competitive. At least with Takanashi, the Games were not in her home country, and Japan also has Yuki Ito near the top.
The biggest delight, on the other hand, was that my non-skating-sporting-crush came 5th!!! Evelyn Insam had a good 2012/13 season, becoming a regular Top 10 finisher, and even had a podium. But all of the Italian girls have been really struggling this season, hardly ever getting into the Top 20. So I was not expecting any of them to get near the Top 10, never mind a Top 5!
What a great birthday present for Evelyn, albeit a day late! Let's hope that this is a sign that her twenties are going to be highly successful!