By Tom Degun at Seefeld Arena in Innsbruck 

Sara Takanashi January 14 - After a monumental wait, women's ski jumping appeared for the first time ever at an Olympics as the event took place here on day one of the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games.

The sport has fought a long and bitter but unsuccessful campaign to be included at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics after International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge claimed that there were too few women to compete at a high enough international standard.

But following the launch of the International Ski Federation (FIS) Ski Jump World Cup for women last year, the sport received a major Olympic boost last April after being confirmed on the sports programme for Sochi 2014.

In contrast to the main Olympics, the discipline had always been scheduled to take place at here and it was left to Japan's Sara Takanashi to make history in more ways than one as the 15-year-old claimed the first-ever women's ski jump gold medal as well as the first ever Winter Youth Games gold medal.

It was perhaps fitting that Takanashi wrote her name into the history books as her Japanese compatriot Yuka Sato won the first gold medal at the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 in the sport of triathlon.

Takanashi (pictured) was the overwhelming favourite heading into the event as she competes at senior level and is currently third in the women's ski jump World Cup rankings after securing her first-ever podium finish earlier this month.

Sara Takanashi_preparing_to_jump_Innsbruck_2012

She did not disappoint as she a series of huge jumps to finish in first place by some distance with a total of 269.3 metres.

Katharina Althaus of Germany claimed silver with 242.5 points while Ursa Bogataj of Slovenia bronze with 239.3.

"This is the greatest feeling I've ever had," said Takanashi, who is likely to be a strong gold medal contender at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic.

"To win the first gold at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games is so amazing.

"It was just an honour to come her to compete so to come away with the win is really special.

"It is even more special to do it in Innsbruck, which is such a famous destination for winter sport.

"I will cherish my medal and I will never forget this day."

Takanashi revealed that although she in the World Cup, she was still very nervous ahead of the competition.

"I was very worried about adapting because this was a different venue from my past," she said.

"My past has helped me, but this was a new experience.

"I'm just happy it has all worked out so well."

Anze Lanisek_Innsbruck_January_14_2012
The women's ski jump event finished shortly before the men's ski jump event where Anze Lanisek of Slovenia took the gold medal with 286.1 points.

Mats Berggaard of Norway claimed silver with 277.8 points while Japan's Yukiya Sato secured the bronze medal with 260.1 points.

The event signified a superb start for Innsbruck 2012, although they did suffer one problem at the start of the Games when the ice machine at the curling venue broke down and caused a delay to the start of the competition.

"Due to a failure of the ice machine during the night, which affected the cooling procedure for about two hours, the ice at the curling competition in the Exhibition Hall in Innsbruck has become too soft and the four scheduled morning matches of the red group have to be moved until Tuesday," said an Innsbruck 2012 statement.

"All of today's afternoon matches will be played as scheduled."

The four matches curling matches to be affected were Italy versus Russia, Britain v Austria, Germany v Canada and Japan v Sweden.

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