Berlin (AFP) - Japan's Sara Takanashi, the red-hot favourite for the Olympic ski jumping gold, suffered a shock second defeat of the World Cup season on Saturday, just two weeks out from the Winter Games.
The 17-year-old, who had won eight of the previous nine World Cup rounds, was beaten into second place on the hill at Planica in Slovenia by Austria's Daniela Irascho-Stolz.
The Austrian was the only competitor to produce two jumps of over 100m for a total of 261.5 points with Takanashi on 249.3 and Germany's Carina Vogt claiming third place with 246.5 points.
"I'm not satisfied with my jumps today. Tomorrow I will try to avoid the mistakes. The hill here in Planica looks like the one in Sochi. Both are very modern facilities," said the Japanese teenager.
Despite the setback, Takanashi, the winner of 16 World Cup events in her career, remains in charge of the overall standings with a 334-point lead on Vogt.
Planica, which had replaced the original venue of Ljubno due to lack of snow, stages a second jump on Sunday.
The World Cup season then heads to Hinzenbach in Austria next weekend, the last rounds before the start of the Olympics in Sochi on February 7.
1. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT) 261.5 pts (100.0 - 102.5 m), 2. Sara Takanashi (JPN) 249.3 (97.0 - 98.0 m), 3. Carina Vogt (GER) 246.5 (96.0 - 99.0 m), 4. Ursa Bogataj (SLO) 238.7 (91.5 - 95.0 m), 5. Yuki Ito (JPN) 236.6 (90.0 - 98.0 m)
World Cup standings (after 10 of 19 rounds):
1. Sara Takanashi (JPN) 940 pts, 2. Carina Vogt (GER) 606, 3. Irina Avvakumova (RUS) 471, 4. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT) 422, 5. Coline Mattel (FRA) 307