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Sara Takanashi dominates training

2/8/2014 - Olympic Sports

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia -- Sara Takanashi of Japan has some company in the gold-medal favorite department for the first women's ski jumping event at any Olympics.

The 17-year-old Takanashi, winner of 10 World Cup events this season, made her mark early Saturday on the first day of training for Tuesday's historic gold medal final at the Sochi Games, taking the first round.

But Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria came back to finish first in the next two rounds, relegating Takanashi to second in both as the women took to the Sochi Games normal hill for the first time.

Sarah Hendrickson, last season's World Cup champion, had a cautious but unrewarding start in her first competition since right knee surgery in August. Hendrickson, of Park City, Utah, made two jumps and finished last and next-to-last.