Sagen jumping for joy, too

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Anette Sagen, Norway’s pioneering female ski jumper, made Norwegian sports history herself over the weekend, when she won Norway’s first World Cup victory in ski jumping for women ever. Sagen herself called the victory “extremely wonderful.”

Anette Sagen back on the ground. PHOTO: Sven Goll

Anette Sagen, who was the first to officially jump off Oslo’s new Holmenkollen Ski Jump two years ago, was jubilant again over the weekend when she won her first World Cup event. ARCHIVE PHOTO: Sven Goll

While the men’s national ski jumping team was winning spots on the platform at the annual Hoppuka tournament in Oberstdorf, Sagen and the women weren’t too far away, at Schonach in Germany. There she won the World Cup event after 19 competitions.

“Finally!” Sagen exclaimed to news bureau NTB when it was all over. “We’ve gone after this victory for a long time. It was extremely wonderful.”

Sagen, originally from Mosjøen in Nordland County, has been at the top of her sport for years, also in international jumping, and has fought for women’s rights to jump in major events from the World Championships to the Olympics. The World Cup for women ski jumpers itself was just established before the 2011-2012 season.

Sagen, who will turn 28 on Thursday, had felt that the competition among female ski jumpers has grown tougher in recent years. On Sunday, though, she nailed a first jump of 98 meters and then one on 94 meters. That put her ahead of Daniela Iraschko from Austria. Coline Mattel of France placed third.

Her victory in the World Cup comes six weeks before the women jumpers will compete in the Nordic World Championships in Val di Fiemme in northern Italy. She thinks she has a chance for the gold medal there.

“Now I’ve convinced myself that it’s possible,” Sagen told NTB. “I can still top the winners’ platform, and that gives me confidence ahead of the world championships.”

National coach Christian Meyer also claimed Sunday was a “big day” for Sagen. “This was a confirmation that she can still win,” Meyer said.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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