Paralympics: Momoka Muraoka wins alpine downhill skiing silver, winning Japan’s 1st medal in Pyeongchang

From The Mainichi

March 10th 2018.

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Kyodo) — Skier Momoka Muraoka won silver in women’s alpine skiing downhill on Saturday for Japan’s first medal of the Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics.

Muraoka, the country’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony, finished the course at Jeongseon Alpine Centre 1.49 seconds behind Germany’s Anna Schaffelhuber, who is here looking to repeat

her five-discipline golden sweep in Sochi.

“Honestly, I’m relieved. It’s a pretty bumpy course and the two skiers before me crashed, so I was worried I’d fall too. I’m happy I could finish, and with a medal too,” the 21-year-old Muraoka said.

Bolstering Japan’s strong start, Taiki Morii won silver in the men’s downhill — sitting, his fifth medal in as many games. American Andrew Kurka won gold with a 1.64-second gap to second.

Morii said he was disappointed he did not win his first Paralympic gold but was also relieved to start his Pyeongchang campaign with a medal.

“I want to be more aggressive in my four other races and win a medal of an even better color.”

Akira Kano, who was aiming to defend his Sochi gold in the same event, did not complete his run after crashing.

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