China landed their first-ever Para Alpine Skiing gold courtesy of Zhang Mengqiu on the second day of competition (6 March) at the Yangqing National Alpine Skiing Centre.
The 19-year-old seemed ecstatic as she crossed the finish line in 1:13.54 to win the women's super-G standing ahead of France's legend and eight-time Paralympic champion Marie Bochet (1:14.97), who had to settle for silver.
“I am so excited and I am so happy," said Zhang. She also admitted to being calm while waiting for the final results: "I was not nervous (in the waiting zone). I was neither nervous when I was doing the run.”
Zhang had taken silver in the downhill the day before. She said: "I felt a bit more relaxed (today). I think after I won a medal, I built more confidence in myself for future races.”
Bochet had a rough start on Saturday when she lost a ski and could not finish the downhill. But it was different this time.
"So happy to be here and to make another race today. A bit exciting and maybe a bit scared. Happy with my skis and the silver medal."
Now that she has claimed a medal, Bochet admits she has taken some pressure off her shoulders. "Yes I think the Games will start today (laughs)."
Canadian Alana Ramsay (1:16.84) collected bronze. "It’s been a long time coming back from that [crashing in 2019], so winning a bronze medal here means the world," she said.
"It means my dedication to the sport is paying off."