Perrine Laffont grabs the Olympic gold in ladies' moguls
PyeongChang (KOR) - French skier Perrine Laffont won the first Freestyle Skiing gold medal at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games by taking the top spot in the ladies' moguls event.
The 19-year-old finished ahead of Canadian Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Kazakhstan's Yulia Galysheva with a score of 78.65 at Phoenix Snow Park.
"I absolutely don't know how I did it because I was so, so tired," Laffont said. "I was at the top of the course and I was like, 'I can't do this, I can't do this.'
The skiers in final 3, in which the medals were decided, had battled through finals 1 and 2 earlier in the evening, and the workload had taken its toll on Laffont.
But the judges scored her higher than Sochi 2014 gold medallist Dufour-Lapointe, who received 78.56.
"I was thinking about my family down course and all the energy that I have in me," Laffont said. "And now here I am, Olympic champion. It's crazy. I'm just 19 and I have dreamed about it for a long time and I just did it."
With the win on Sunday, Laffont became the second French Olympic Winter Games medallist in the ladies' moguls as she joined Sandra Laoura who won the bronze medal at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
It had looked like Dufour-Lapointe the third to go in final 3, would retain her title before Laffont edged ahead by 0.09 points.
"I thought I'd got there because I gave it my all," said the 23-year-old Canadian. "But you know what, I did everything I could and I don't have any control of my score and the score of the other girl. I was proud of me."
The Canadian skier added a silver medal to her gold from the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games as s she became the eighth woman in history to win more than one Olympic medal in this event.
Bronze medallist Galysheva, who finished 11th at Vancouver 2010 and seventh at Sochi 2014, said her first Olympic medal will not be her last, nor her best.
"I went from 11th, seventh, to third, so the next one will be first," she said.
By winning the bronze, Galysheva picked up Kazakhstan's first medal in freestyle skiing at the Olympic Winter Games.
Despite coming second in the first final, gold medal favourite and world No.1 Jaelin Kauf (USA) failed to qualify for the medal race.
World No. 2 Andi Naude (CAN) made it to the final six with an impressive high-risk backflip with a full twist that gave her victory in final 2, but could no quite land it in the last run and did not finish.
"Obviously it's not a medal and it's a bit of a heartbreak, but I'll learn from it," she said.