- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia —  Carina Vogt of Germany has never won a World Cup event. She now owns women’s ski jumping’s first-ever Olympic gold medal.

The 22-year-old Vogt performed when it counted Tuesday at the Sochi Games, scoring 247.4 points on the normal hill at the Rus-Ski Gorki Jumping Center.

Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver and Coline Mattell of France earned bronze.

Sara Takanashi of Japan, the World Cup leader in the sport and heavy favorite heading into the Sochi Games, was a disappointing fourth.

Vogt, who has four second-place finishes in World Cup events this year, had been quiet in training runs, allowing Takanashi and Iraschko-Stolz to take much of the hype as they dueled for supremacy.

“I can’t find the right words,” Vogt said. “I’m just speechless because training yesterday was not so good. Now I’ve improved today. I’ve not won a World Cup till now. It’s unbelievable.”

Iraschko-Stolz said she had to battle some anxious moments before her silver medal-winning performance.

“It was difficult to jump today because of nerves, difficult to overcome it,” Iraschko-Stolz said.

In 2011, the International Olympic Committee agreed to allow the women to compete at Sochi — 90 years after men did at the inaugural Winter Games in 1924.

The 17-year-old Takansashi set the tone early, jumping last in the warm-up and beating Iraschko-Stolz by a meter.

When Takanashi’s placing lit up the scoreboard, a group of Japanse fans blew kazoo-like devices and waved a large flagpole containing a carp kite — a fish that the Japanese consider good luck, followed by the Japanese flag, and then a banner with Takanashi’s picture on it.

The carp didn’t bring her much luck.

Takanashi finished the first round in third place, meaning she would jump third-last in the final round, a place she was not used to considering she has led and won so many World Cups this year.

Iraschko-Stolz took the lead with three jumpers to go, leaving Vogt needing a good jump to overtake her. It wasn’t as good as the Austrian’s final jump, but enough to give the German a six-point edge.

Japan had been counting on Takanashi to end an Olympic gold medal drought. The country’s last gold came at the 2006 Turin Games when Shizuka Arakawa won the ladies singles in figure skating.

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