Japan’s Momoka Muraoka placed herself firmly in contention to win the women’s super-G sitting Para Alpine Skiing World Cup after claiming victory in the second of two races on home snow in Hakuba today.
The World Championships bronze medallist overcame Paralympic champion Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany, clocking a time of 1min 18.59sec on the Happo-One slopes.
Muraoka beat Schaffelhuber by 0.24 seconds, while Germany’s Anna-Lena Forster was 2.17 seconds back in third.
The win was even more impressive as it came after Schaffelhuber took victory in the first race of the day in 1:17.45.
Muraoka managed to bag a podium in that race too, finishing second in 1:20.32 with the United States’ Laurie Stephens third in 1:26.11.
The results mean that Schaffelhuber leads the super-G World Cup with 340 points, 40 more than Muraoka, who is now tied in second with Austria’s Claudia Loesch.
The final standings will be decided at the World Cup Finals and Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games test event, due to get underway on March 12.
All five technical and speed disciplines will be contested in the South Korean county, including a further two super-G contests.
In the first race of today’s men’s sitting competition, world bronze medallist Andrew Kurka of the US posted a time of 1:11.46 to edge New Zealand’s silver medallist Corey Peters by just 0.04 seconds.
Paralympic champion Akira Kano of Japan was third in 1:12.53.
Kano’s team-mate Taiki Morii was the winner in the second race in 1:11.82, earning 100 World Cup points.
The Netherlands’ Jeroen Kampschreur was second in 1:12.09, ahead of Takeshi Suzuki, who claimed third for the hosts in 1:12.90.
Switzerland’s Christoph Kunz maintains a slim five-point lead at the top of the rankings in the men’s sitting, despite not reaching the podium in Hakuba,
Peters is second on 240 points, followed by Morii with 230.
Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss continued her winning streak in the women’s standing, claiming wins in both races to cement her lead at the top of the leaderboard.
The world bronze medallist can still be caught though by America's Stephanie Jallen, whose two podium finishes have kept her in contention.
In the first race, Rothfuss registered a time of 1:20.23 to beat nearest challenger Laura Valeanu of Romania by 2.66 seconds and third-placed Jallen by 4.95 seconds.
Jallen was the runner-up in the second race, finishing 4.35 seconds behind Rothfuss, the winner in 1:19.13.
Slovakia’s Petra Smarzova completed the podium in 1:28.00.
World and Paralympic champion Markus Salcher of Austria doubled his points with two wins in the men’s standing event.
Salcher clocked 1:12.95 in the first race and was followed onto the podium by compatriot Christoph Bernhard Schneider, second in 1:14.17, and Japan’s Hiraku Misawa, third in 1:14.83.
Switzerland’s Robin Cuche came within 0.07 seconds of Salcher’s winning time of 1:13.11 in the second race, while Australia’s Mitchell Gourley was third in 1:13.41.
Salcher now has a 180-point lead at the top of the rankings and is within touching distance of the overall crystal globe.
World champion and points leader Henrieta Farkasova of Slovakia continued to shine in her comeback season, taking double victory in the women’s visually impaired with guide Natalia Subrtova.
The first race was won in 1:19.86 with the podium completed by America's Danelle Umstead and husband guide Rob, the runners-up in 1:26.81, and team-mate Staci Manella and guide Sadie de Baun, the third-place finishers in 1:29.61.
Australia’s Melissa Perrine occupied second place in the second race with guide Andrew Bor, finishing 3.46 seconds behind Farkasova’s winning time of 1:18.18.
Umstead skied to another podium finish with third in 1:26.09.
Today’s action also saw Slovakia’s Miroslav Haraus take the lead in the men’s visually impaired super-G World Cup.
Guided by Maros Hudik, Haraus led compatriot Jakub Krako and guide Branislav Brozman and America's Kevin Burton, guided by Chris Tatsuno, into second and third in both races.
His triumphs were secured with respective times of 1:14.64 and 1:13.26.
All three skiers could claim the crystal globe at the Finals in Pyeongchang.