Yuki Ito led the first Japanese podium sweep at a women's ski jumping World Cup event Sunday in Germany, with Nozomi Maruyama finishing second and Sara Takanashi third.
It was the first time Japanese female jumpers occupied the top three spots of a World Cup event since the tour began in the 2011-2012 season.
Ito leaped 137 and 135.5 meters with her two jumps in Willingen to score 233.3 points and secure her sixth career World Cup win and first since March 2017.
"It's been a historic day," said Ito, the oldest of the trio at 28.
"I'm as happy as when I first won an event, I've kept working hoping to stand on that top step again. The efforts I've put in bore fruit."
Maruyama had jumps of 133 and 136.5 meters for 229.0 points, while Takanashi reached 137.5 and 133 meters to finish 6.4 points further back. The three Japanese women were the only jumpers to fly more than 130 meters on both attempts.
"I'm filled with joy to have stood on the podium alongside the senior teammates who have inspired me," said 24-year-old Maruyama on reaching a World Cup podium for the first time. "It's a day I won't forget."
Having missed the Beijing Winter Olympics after damaging a ligament in her left knee in a domestic competition in October 2021, it was a fitting reward for her work since.
"Thanks to many people's support I had after getting injured, I could get to see what it looks like from up here (on the podium)," Maruyama said.
Takanashi, the 26-year-old winner of record 63 World Cup events, said the podium sweep with her fellow Japanese was "the most pleasing thing" after coming third for the second straight event.
Abigail Strate from Canada finished fourth on 213.1 points, while Japan's Yuka Seto was 10th.
Japan swept the men's World Cup podium three times during the 1997-1998 season.
In the men's competition on Sunday, also in Willingen, Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi came second for his fourth podium finish of the season.
Halvor Egner Granerud of Norway won his fourth straight event and his ninth of the season with 273.0 points after putting together two jumps of over 140 meters. Kobayashi reached 145.5 meters with his second to log 252.3 points. Daniel Andre Tande of Norway came third.
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