Yuki Ito earned a narrow win over three-time overall World Cup winner Sara Takanashi at the Yoshida Cup on Sunday in Nayoro, Hokkaido.
With fresh snow covering the runway and killing the pace in the run-up, Ito and Takanashi both leaped 76 meters, but Ito scored 80.5 points, edging Takahashi by 0.5 at Piyashiri Schanze before the second jumps were called off due to inclement weather.
“I got the win thanks to that tiny gap on our form scores,” Ito said. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to fly far, so I just had to remain patient. There are times things will come down to these (tiny margins) and getting a win is a decent result.”
Ito’s work on her lower body over the summer has paid off with two runner-up finishes in four World Cup competitions this season, while Takanashi, who has had a flying start with three wins, said Sunday’s result was a wakeup call.
“I couldn’t adjust despite knowing that the weather was unstable. That’s where I’m weak,” Takanashi said. “I want to work on the takeoff to transmit the maximum amount of power. There are things I’m still lacking technically and mentally.”