She may have missed a medal, but Japanese ski jumper Sara Takanashi says she will not give up trying for her country.
The athlete, who was first seen at the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012, was a favourite to win this week in the first women’s ski jumping event to be held at the Olympic Winter Games. She talks to Young Reporter Sonali Prasad about her fourth-place finish and how her nerves were her biggest enemy.
"I came here wanting to do my best. I’m incredibly disappointed I couldn’t jump the way I wanted to on both attempts. I have realised my mental weakness.”
The skier was inconsolable when her final results were announced.
“It’s not just me that is disappointed - look at how many people have supported me in my journey; I was thinking about all of them. Clearly something was different tonight, but it was nice to be on the stage. My nerves cost me my medal.”
Takanashi’s young career has had an exceptional start in a sport that is so new to the Olympic programme. After winning gold at the Innsbruck Youth Olympic Games, she went onto win 10 of the 13 World Cup events this season. Now she wants to put Sochi behind her and is already focusing on PyeongChang 2018.
“The fighter in me will fight till the very end, I want to come back to the Olympics a much more polished ski jumper and do my country proud.”
“There is nothing I want to do except for ski jumping. My career has been developing with the whole ski jumping movement in Japan. I’m grateful to everyone who’s helped me.”
Germany’s Carina Vogt claimed the gold with a total of 247.4 points. Austria’s Daniela Iraschko-Stolz took the silver with 246.2, while France’s Coline Mattel earned the bronze with 245.2.