Ljubno was again hosting the Ladies World Cup, offering great organization, location and atmosphere. Sunday’s event in Ljubno started with a Qualification Round at 11.45 CET. After a few amazing distances, the Qualificiation winner became Anastasiya Barannikova (RUS) with 89.5m and 113.5 points, followed by Špela Rogelj (SLO) with 89m and 111.6 points, third was Elena Runggaldier (ITA) with 87.5m and 108.6 points. The highlight of this round was also Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT) who broke the hill record and owned it with 96.5m, which is 1.5m longer than the official HS. Xinyue Chang (CHN) did not start.
With the first round, starting at 13.00, there were 40 athletes competing for the best score. There were 7 AUT, 4 FRA, 4 RUS, 4 NOR, 4 ITA, 5 SLO, 1 ROU, 6 GER, 1 JPN, 3 USA, 1 FIN and 1 CHN ski jumpers qualified for the competition. Despite strong Slovenian, Italian, American and Austrian performances, Sunday was reserved for Germany. Maren Lundby (NOR) was great again, landing at 88.5m in the first and 90.5m in the final round, but that wasn’t enough to beat the German. Carina Vogt jumped to 91m, which put her on the 3rd place, her fellow Luftballons Svenja Wuerth and Katharina Althaus were better for 1.5m.
The final round showed no surprise. The best Slovenian, Ema Klinec, ended 5th, reaching 92m and scoring 239.2 points. She shared the place with Jacqueline Seifriedsberger (AUT) with 90.5m and same points. 4th was Maren Lundby, total score of 239.9 points and 90.5m. The best three were the same three from the first round. Svenja Wuerth landed at 89m and 242.7 points put her on 3rd place. This was her first podium and also her career’s best result. Carina Vogt celebrated the second place with 90m and 244.6 points. The winner of Sunday’s competition was Katharina Althaus, who dominated with the same length as Carina and 249.0 points.
The best Italian was Manuela Malsinger (91m and 239.1 points), the best American Nita Englund (88m and 217.1 points), Julia Kykkaenen was 16th (85m and 204.4 points). Ksenia Kablukova was the best Russian (81.5m and 200.3 points), followed by the Japanese Kaori Iwabuchi (82m and 199.9 points). The only Chinese athlete qualified was Xueyao Li (81m and 196.2 points). Lucile Morat was the best French (80m and 195.9 points), Romanian Daniela Haralambie’s place was number 30 with 78.5m and 186.4 points.
These ladies will continue their World Cup journey in Korea this week, starting Wednesday, February 15th. PyeongChang awaits.