- Associated Press - Sunday, February 9, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) - Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria dominated women’s ski jumping training sessions Sunday at the Sochi Olympics, proving her first-day performance was no fluke.

Perhaps as important, she’s sending a message to 17-year-old gold medal favorite Sara Takanashi of Japan.

Iraschko-Stolz relegated Takanashi, who has 10 World Cup victories this season, to second place in two of three training jumps Saturday. She finished first in two training runs Sunday before deciding not to bother with the third.

“It’s one of the best hills ever,” Iraschko-Stolz said. “I love that hill.”

Takanashi was first in the third session, after coming in second and third in the others, and has a distinctly different impression of the hill at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center.

“I would like to have more time to adjust to the hill because there are none like this in Japan,” she said. “I’m not really happy with my three jumps.”

The first Olympic gold medal in women’s ski jumping will be awarded Tuesday.

American jumpers had another frustrating day. Defending World Cup champion, 19-year-old Sarah Hendrickson of Park City, Utah, finished well back in two training jumps as she attempts to recover from right knee surgery in August.

On Saturday after her first effort - last and second-to-last in her two jumps - she said the knee was still bothering her and causing problems on her landings.

“Of course, I have this in the back of my head, I know I can get injured again, but I have to push it out of my head,” Hendrickson said.

Jessica Jerome had finishes of eighth, ninth and 15th, while Lindsey Van, who like Jerome is from Park City, was seventh, 13th and 16th.

Women ski jumpers have been fighting for more than a decade to get into the Olympics, including an unsuccessful court case ahead of the Vancouver Games in 2010. The International Olympic Committee added women’s jumping from the normal hill to the Sochi program in 2011, giving the women access to Winter Games gold 90 years after the men.


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