Nika Prevc powers ahead
Slovenian ski jumper Nika Prevc appears unstoppable. With first and second place in front of the home crowd in Ljubno ob Savinji this weekend, she affirmed her position as overall World Cup leader in what is by far her best season to date.
After being beaten only by Eva Pinkelnig of Austria on 27 January, she edged the Austrian for first place on 28 January and now has a 174-point lead on Japan's Yuki Ito in the overall World Cup standings.
"This weekend has been quite exhausting for me. I wanted to jump well, in particular in front of such a large number of Slovenian fans. It is nice that my jumps are so stable. I hope it lasts," she said.
The 18-year-old won her first World Cup event in December last year. A month and a half later, she has six wins to her name and boasts nine podium positions total, of which one in a team event. The record makes her the most successful Slovenian female jumper of all time.
Prevc's rise is not surprising given that she comes from the most famous and successful Slovenian ski jumping family: two of her brothers, Peter and Domen are members of the Slovenian national team, while Cene has retired from active jumping.
And while it may take a while before she outperforms Peter, the winner of four Olympic medals and overall World Cup winner in 2016, she already has more World Cup podiums than Cene and Domen.
Despite the roaring success this season, Nika, known for her calm demeanour, remains humble. When asked how she felt having become the best Slovenian female jumper, she said that her teammate Nika Križnar, who finished third in Ljubno, has not had the final say yet.
"And I've got quite a bit of work ahead. Where are the limits? The bar set by Sara Takanashi is quite high, but I'll try to do everything to outdo her one day as well," she said about the Japanese competitor who has 63 World Cup wins and four overall World Cup titles.