OBERSTDORF, GERMANY – Sara Takanashi captured her elusive 54th career victory on Saturday to become the ski jumper with more World Cup wins than any other in the world.
With jumps of 100.5 and 96.5 meters, Takanashi earned 227.1 points over Austria’s Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (224.1) and Norway’s Maren Lundby (221.7), finally edging out Austrian Gregor Schlierenzauer for the sole world record.
The 21-year-old, who earned her first Olympic medal with bronze at the Pyeongchang Games, said she felt very happy to win her 54th crown, but admitted she was not quite expecting it.
“I’m really surprised. The first jump was good, but on the second jump, my timing on the starting line was a little late and my upper body was too high,” Takanashi said.
“I never thought that I’d get the 54th win this season.”
The Hokkaido native captured the 53rd World Cup title of her career in February 2017 to tie Schlierenzauer’s all-time record, but was unable to place higher than second place this season until Saturday’s historic victory.
Takanashi won her first World Cup at the age of 15 in her debut season on the World Cup circuit in 2011-2012, and has since claimed four overall titles. She has finished every season in the overall standings in third place or better.
The two-day meet in Oberstdorf, which is hosting the last two women’s World Cup events of the season, concludes on Sunday.