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Ski Jumping: Olympic worry as Takanashi suffers second defeat

Japanese ski jump star Sara Takanashi suffered a second successive World Cup defeat on Sunday delivering a worrying dent to her status as Olympic Games gold medal favourite.

BERLIN: Japanese ski jump star Sara Takanashi suffered a second successive World Cup defeat on Sunday delivering a worrying dent to her status as Olympic Games gold medal favourite.

The 17-year-old was beaten into second place by Austria's Daniela Iraschko-Stolz on the Planica hill in Slovenia, just as she had been 24 hours earlier.

The back-to-back defeats came in the penultimate World Cup meet before the Sochi Olympics get underway on February 7.

Iraschko-Stolz, the 30-year-old 2011 world champion, pulled off the longest jump of the competition of 102.5m to edge out Takanashi by three points with Germany's Carina Voigt claiming third, just as she had on Saturday.

"I'm satisfied because I was able to improve some things that didn't work yesterday," insisted Takanashi despite the defeat.

Iraschko-Stolz admitted that the Japanese remains the woman to beat at Sochi.

"I'm very motivated right now, of course also because of the two wins," she asaid.

"This is really good for my self-confidence. I have to train hard over the next two or three weeks because Sara is a great jumper and very hard to beat."

Takanashi still leads the overall World Cup standings having now broken through the 1000-point barrier.

Next weekend, the World Cup circuit switches to Hinzenbach in Austria for the final two rounds before the Olympics where women's ski jumping is making its debut.

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