Olympic Ski Jumping 2014: Schedule, TV Info, Medal Predictions for Day 4

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Olympic Ski Jumping 2014: Schedule, TV Info, Medal Predictions for Day 4
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

For the first time in the history of the Winter Olympics, women will compete in ski jumping at Sochi, 90 years after their male counterparts debuted the event at the inaugural Winter Games in 1924 at Chamonix, France. 

In America, all eyes will be on 19-year-old Sarah Hendrickson, as she will take part in the Olympics less than six months after tearing her ACL and MCL in a training crash. Before her injury, Hendrickson was a dominant force on the World Cup circuit, but she doesn't look the same in Sochi.

Dennis Passa of the Associated Press reported Sunday that Hendrickson's knee is giving her problems, causing her to skip a training run on Sunday while posting near dead-last finishes in every other qualification:

Hendrickson said she requested a lower gate than the other jumpers on Sunday, meaning she will have no chance to jump as far as her competitors because of her lack of speed off the ramp.

"My coach and I decided," Hendrickson said. "I still have pain in my knee. There's no need to jump too far. I don't want to sacrifice anything."

And she said her problems might be as much psychological as physical.

"Of course, I have this in the back of my head," she said. "I know I can get injured again, but I have to push it out of my head."

It's admirable that Hendrickson is even willing to compete, but don't expect her to be on the podium Tuesday afternoon. For now, outspoken Olympic women's ski jumper advocate Lindsey Van and U.S. trial winner Jessica Jerome will represent America's best chances to medal in the event.

"Being here is history," Van said, via Owen Gibson of the Guardian. "I want more people to see that women can ski jump. It's taken 90 years for us to get here."

The women will compete on the 90-meter hill and will be judged on both distance and landing. Lucky for Americans, this nighttime event in Sochi will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Here's a look at the entire field for the women's normal hill ski jump event followed by live stream and TV info and predictions for the gold, silver and bronze medals.

2014 Sochi Olympics Women's Ski Jump Field
Bib No. Name Country
1 Sarah Hendrickson United States
2 Yurina Yamada Japan
3 Lea Lemare France
4 Chiara Hoelzl Austria
5 Gyda Enger Norway
6 Lindsey Van United States
7 Atsuko Tanaka Canada
8 Evelyn Insam Italy
9 Spela Rogelj Slovenia
10 Elena Runggaldier Italy
11 Taylor Henrich Canada
12 Julia Clair France
13 Bigna Windmueller Switzerland
14 Katja Pozun Slovenia
15 Jessica Jerome United States
16 Ulrike Graessler Germany
17 Gianina Ernst Germany
18 Line Jahr Norway
19 Eva Logar Slovenia
20 Helena Olsson Smeby Norway
21 Katharina Althaus Germany
22 Julia Kykkaenen Finland
23 Maren Lundby Norway
24 Coline Mattel France
25 Maja Vtic Slovenia
26 Yuki Ito Japan
27 Irina Avvakumova Russia
28 Daniela Iraschko-Stolz Austria
29 Carina Vogt Germany
30 Sara Takanashi Japan

Sochi2014.com

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 11

Round 1: 12:30 p.m. (ET)

Final Round: 1:25 p.m. (ET)

TV (Live): NBC Sports Network, 1:30 p.m. ET

Live Stream: NBC Live Extra

 

Predictions

Gold: Sara Takanashi, Japan

Now that Hendrickson has been slowed due to injury, this event is widely viewed as Sara Takanashi's to lose. The 17-year-old Japanese sensation is the overwhelming favorite to win the first-ever gold awarded in this event after winning 10 World Cup events this season, including two earlier this month.

The official Sochi 2014 Twitter account shared a photo of Takanashi during a training run earlier this week:

There is a very young field for the event that features many teenagers, and Takanashi appears to have the most talent of them all.  On Monday, Takanashi finished in first place in two of three training runs, per another Passa report from Sochi

"Compared to my other jumps, today were the best," she said. "The transition is the most important thing and that determines the result."

 

Silver: Daniela Iraschko-Stolz, Austria

Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

If Saturday and Sunday's training runs were any indication, Daniela Iraschko-Stolz stands as Takanashi's biggest competition to win the gold medal.

The 30-year-old Austrian looked strong this weekend, winning four of the six training runs at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center. 

"To win a medal is really hard," Iraschko-Stolz said recently, via Passa. "We have only one competition, two jumps, so we have to be really strong in head and in legs. Everything is possible, it's the Olympics."

 

Bronze: Carina Vogt, Germany

Lars Baron/Getty Images

German Carina Vogt enters the Olympics as the No. 2-rated women's ski jumper, per the latest rankings from FIS-Ski.com. Even though Takanashi is the runaway favorite and Iraschko-Stolz is looking great in training, don't count out Vogt, who leads a host of candidates to win a medal behind the top two ski jumpers.

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