A team event will be contested at the women's World Cup next season ©Getty Images

Chika Yoshida, the International Ski Federation's (FIS) race director for women's ski jumping, has hailed the decision to introduce a World Cup team event next season.

Team competitions have been a regular fixture on the men's circuit, but up until now, female jumpers have only been able to compete individually.

In the 2017-18 campaign, women's team competitions will be held in Zao in Japan and Hinterzarten in Germany.

Japan's Yoshida believes the move - confirmed at the FIS Calendar Conference in Slovenia last week - will lead to an increased talent pool.

"This is an important step in order to get more ladies closer to the top," she said. 

"With this decision, the national ski associations now have to support more ladies. 

"I think that we will have nine or ten teams competing next winter. 

Sara Takanashi dominated the women's World Cup circuit last season ©Getty Images
Sara Takanashi dominated the women's World Cup circuit last season ©Getty Images

"Athletes who only competed in the Continental Cup so far will get a chance to compete in a World Cup event."

Japan's Sara Takanashi won nine World Cup events last year as she dominated the competition.

Yoshida has also been buoyed by increased television ratings for women's competitions.

"The TV ratings were really good," she said. 

"Slowly but surely ladies' ski jumping is getting more popular. 

"I think that the viewers are also recognising the fact that the quality and general level of the performance improved significantly over the last couple of years. 

"The ladies earned this interest with their performances and they deserve it."