June 6 - Women's ski jumping chances of being included in the Sochi Olympics in 2014 have been given a massive boost after the International Ski Federation (FIS) announced plans to create a new World Cup series.

The FIS ruling Council, meeting in Antalya at the annual congress, approved the new top-tier event, starting with the 2011-2012 season, following the success of the Continental Cup circuit staged since 2005.

FIS is currently lobbying the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to add women's ski jumping to the Sochi after it was controversially left off the programme for this year's Games in Vancouver.

The IOC said the sport lacked world-class competition and did not deserve a place.

Even legal action failed to force the IOC to change its mind.

The IOC voted not to include women's ski jumping because the sport did not meet the necessary criteria for inclusion.

The IOC requires that a sport must have contested at least two World Championships before it can become an Olympic event.

The inaugural women's ski jumping World Championship was won in 2009 by Lindsey Van of the United States.

The mostly Europe-based Continental Cup was won last season by Daniela Iraschko of Austria.

The IOC has decided to include women's ski jumping at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012 in Innsbruck and will consider adding the event to the Sochi.

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