Japan's Momoka Muraoka returned to her winning ways on Friday at the Beijing Paralympics when she defended her women's sitting giant slalom title and earned her third Alpine skiing gold of the games.
The 25-year-old bounced back from her silver in the super combined earlier in the week to claim her fourth medal of the 2022 Games and stay on course to win five medals at consecutive Paralympics.
Friday's win makes her the first Japanese to win four career Winter Paralympic gold medals, and her three golds at a single games is also the equal-most for an athlete from the country.
Muraoka's latest gold is Japan's fourth in Beijing, giving the nation the most it has won in a Winter Paralympics since the 1998 Nagano Games, when it claimed 12.
An aggressive second run won the gold for Muraoka as she had a 1.04-second deficit to make up to eventual silver medalist Liu Sitong of China after her first trip down the hill.
Muraoka told reporters following the race that the pressure and desire to defend her title in the giant slalom had made her too nervous and tense in the first run, resulting in her falling to second place.
But Muraoka said she was confident that as long as she "skied in the way I always do," the gap could easily be closed.
"I skied with the determination of getting that gold medal, and was able to win by a huge time margin as a result, so right now I am filled with a sense of accomplishment," she said.
Muraoka finished with a 2-minute, 2.27-second two-run total, ultimately giving her gold by 7.28 over Liu, who has so far won three medals at her home games.
Muraoka highlighted her competitive nature, saying, "I'm the type that prefers to chase rather than being chased, and I definitely wanted to get a gold medal in this event."
Meanwhile, Liu said that while she was satisfied with her time, there was room for improvement.
"(Japanese athletes) have very strong skills," she said, adding that while support for para skiing started very late in China in comparison to Japan, "our skill level is not bad either."
Another Chinese athlete, Zhang Wenjing, claimed bronze.
Muraoka won one gold medal and four minor medals at the Pyeongchang Games in South Korea in 2018 and now has nine across her Paralympic career that began in 2014.
She will be looking to complete her five-medal haul in the slalom event on Saturday.
But now, having defended her title in her pet event, Muraoka said all she has left to do is enjoy the rest of the Beijing Games.
"I just want to have fun skiing in my own way in the slalom, even if it is not my forte," she said.