After an incredible performance at the 2020/21 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Japanese ski jumper Sara Takanashi has achieved three Guinness World Records (GWR) titles:
- Most Ski Jumping World Cup individual victories in a career (overall) - 60
- Most Ski Jumping World Cup individual victories (female) - 60
- Most Podium Finishes in the Ski Jumping World Cup - 109
With these impressive results to celebrate, Guinness World Records presented Takanashi with her official GWR certificates on Friday 16 April.
Takanashi said that the fact she broke these records took a while to sink in but gradually did after many people congratulated her on them.
Upon receiving the certificates, Takanashi said, "I would like to extend the record further, and I feel I must keep the skill worthy of these records."
"Seeing the number in terms of records motivates me. I feel it's a reward for what I have been doing thus far." - Sara Takanashi
The last certificate presentation with Takanashi was in 2018; the three years that followed were challenging yet fruitful.
"I restructured my jump from scratch, which is finally becoming my own and is starting to turn into results," Takanashi said.
"The last year taught me that even in difficult times, you can get closer to your major goals if you keep on inching forward," she continued.
Takanashi also said that finding things to reflect on is necessary to take your skill to the next level, and that is what she has been doing over the past three years.
For example, being more reactive and adaptable - such as changing your mindset for the second jump if you've made a mistake in the first jump - was one of many improvements she has made.
Her hard work certainly paid off and led her to set an impressive record for the most Podium Finishes in the Ski Jumping World Cup.
This record means that Takanashi has had more World Cup podium finishes than anyone else in the sport; male or female.
She broke the record previously held by Janne Petteri Ahonen (Finland), who had 108 podium finishes during his career.
In the most recent season, Takanashi says she was "able to purely enjoy ski jumping" and that she is "feeling joy and is inspired by being able to participate in the ever-so-competitive women's ski jumping."
In terms of her own role in the world of women's ski jumping, Takanashi sees herself eventually becoming a mentor to future rising stars within the sport.
"An increase in star athletes will lead to the development of the sport. I would like to be the sort of competitor who can teach the potential stars things that I have experienced in the sport," she said.
Takanashi's goal right now is focussing on the 2022 Winter Olympics, which commences on the 4 February 2022 in Beijing, China.
To get results in this fiercely competitive sphere she has been putting herself through intensive training, which has included a myriad of trials and errors.
However, her passion for ski jumping never falters.
Ever since I began ski jumping, I had the feeling that this will be a major pillar of my life. That is still true to this day, and I put everything into it. It's just part of my life.