Japanese favourite Sara Takanashi, the World Cup champion, had to settle for the silver medal in the women's ski jumping final at the Nordic world championships on Friday.
The 16-year-old scored 251 points but was beaten into second spot by American rival Sarah Hendrickson who won gold with 253.7 points.
Austria's Jacqueline Seifriedsberger claimed the bronze on 237.2 points.
"Sarah is my favorite jumper. I admire her jumps, I look at the way she jumps during the competition and they were remarkable," said Takanashi.
"The World Cup and World Championships are a different competition, all I can do is do my best, I came here to Predazzo to do my best and I did."
Hendrickson praised her Japanese rival who had dominated the World Cup season and put her success on Friday down to familiarity with the conditions in Italy.
"I had two wins here last year (in the World Cup), I broke the hill record twice, it helps me a lot," said the American.
"Sara has been amazing, I definitely had doubts in the back of my mind over what would happen on the weekend, I knew it was going to be hard."