This past weekend in Ljubno ob Savinji the best women ski jumpers competed in the World Cup competition. Among them there were also eight Slovenian ski jumpers who achieved a marvellous team success and were placed just behind the top three athletes in both competitions. »The devilish Slovenian athletes« have yet again proved to the 9.000 visitors to be in top shape and ready for new challenges. Beside the excellent competition, the organisers prepared a true sports and fun event which strengthened the reputation of Ljubno as one of the most visited women’s competitions in the season.
Excellent performances of women ski jumpers, Slovene women twice just below the podium Hundreds of people came to watch the official training and qualifications already on Friday, February 15th, where 42 ski jumpers from 14 different countries received their starting numbers. On Saturday, February 16th, Ljubno came to life as the girls pit themselves against each other on the beautiful 95 metre ski jumping hill for the first time. The Japanese competitor Sara Takanashi, who also attracted 11 Japanese reporters to Ljubno, took home the victory, whereas the American Sarah Hendrickson finished second in front of the French competitor, Coline Mattel.
Slovenia’s best representative at the competition, which was marked by difficult weather conditions, was Špela Rogelj, who finished 4th. »I felt a bit more pressure than usual because of all the fans that came to cheer us on. I’m glad this pressure didn’t get the best of me and I managed to perform well in both jumps. The podium is reachable but somehow it keeps avoiding us« said Rogelj after the competition. Right after her, placed 5th, was Katja Požun, with Urša Bogataj (9th), Eva Logar (11th), Anja Tepeš (17th), Barbara Klinec (20th) and Maja Vtič (26th) also winning the points.
On Sunday, February 17th, the Japanese ski jumper Sara Takanashi took the first place again and with an unreachable advantage won the big World Cup Crystal Globe. Coline Mattel placed second and Sarah Hendrickson third. The winning trio was followed by our excellent competitor Katja Požun who placed 4th, commenting after the competition: »I’m happy with the fourth place. My jumps were solid, I tried my best. The atmosphere was amazing. All competitors say they like jumping here in Ljubno the most.« Among the first ten competitors there were also three more Slovene jumpers – Špela Rogelj (6th), Anja Tepeš (8th) and Urša Bogataj (9th) followed by Maja Vtič (11th), Eva Logar (13th) and Manja Pograjc (41th).
Weekend in Ljubno a true celebration of sports and fun
Women’s World Cup competition in Ljubno is known as the best event, from the organizing perspective as well as regarding the number of visitors. This year the organisers, the hospitable Ljubno locals and about 9.000 visitors, which is a season record for women ski jumping competitions, created an excellent atmosphere.
The BTC Company, who has supported both competitions of the World Cup again this year as the general sponsor, was also impressed by the visit. The President of the BTC Management Board, Jože Mermal said:”The atmosphere was truly amazing. I’m happy and proud to be a part of such a wonderful event together with the BTC Company. Our women jumpers were excellent and made sure Ljubno and Slovenia will be mentioned all around the world. We congratulate and support the jumpers making history.”
A pleasant winter day in Ljubno was along a tense competition also accompanied by numerous entertainment events both on Saturday and on Sunday.
Different animations, a variety of culinary dishes, live music and 3.000 slides down the artificial sliding ground, free of charge for young and old adrenaline-addicts – next to a good performance by Slovenian girls contributed to the visitors having a really good time over the past weekend.
Petra Novak, Ljubno 2013 Marketing Team of the Organising Committee and the representative for the general sponsor BTC d.d.