Perrine Laffont claimed France’s first gold medal of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games today ©Getty Images

Perrine Laffont claimed France’s first Olympic gold medal of Pyeongchang 2018 after holding off Canada's defending champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe to win the women’s moguls event at Phoenix Park.

Laffont posted a score of 78.65 points in the last phase of the final, bettering that of Dufour-Lapointe by a margin of 0.09 seconds. 

The 19-year-old's victory was confirmed when Canada’s Andi Naude, the sixth and last athlete to compete in the final, failed to finish.

She becomes France’s second Winter Olympic medallist in the women’s moguls, joining Sandra Laoura who won bronze at Turin 2006.

"I was just having fun, enjoying the moment," Laffont said of her performance.

"I told myself, 'Perrine, you're at the Olympics, in the finals, so just enjoy the moment and do your best'. 

"That's all."

Dufour-Lapointe said she felt she had done all she could.

"I thought I did not miss a thing, and that was, for me, the only thing that I was proud of," she said. 

Canada's Justine Dufour-Lapointe fell just short of retaining her Olympic title ©Getty Images
Canada's Justine Dufour-Lapointe fell just short of retaining her Olympic title ©Getty Images

"I crossed that finish line knowing that no matter what happened next, this was it. 

"This was the best run I could put down at the right moment and now it's the judges' decision.

"I thought if I could only do something that I could be proud of and knowing that I did everything I could - no matter what the medal is. 

"Despite all the skiers being so tough, it was such a hard year and I feel stronger than I was back in Sochi actually."

Kazakhstan’s Yulia Galysheva won the bronze medal after managing a score of 77.40 points.

It secured her country's first medal in freestyle skiing at the Winter Olympics.

Australia’s Jakara Anthony finished fourth with 75.35 points, while compatriot and world champion Britteny Cox came fifth with 75.08.

Freestyle skiing medal action is due to resume on Friday (February 16).

The women’s aerials event takes centre stage.