Hoefl-Riesch secures gold medal
Maria Hoefl-Riesch won her second successive Winter Olympics gold medal in the super combined after a stellar run in the slalom at Rosa Khutor.
The German, who carried the flag for her country at the opening ceremony, found herself in fifth after the downhill, with a time of one minute 43.72 seconds putting her 1.04secs behind discipline winner Julia Mancuso.
But Hoefl-Riesch underlined why she is thought of by many as the finest skiing all-rounder, with a blistering run in the slalom that sealed top spot.
An overall time of 2:34.62 ensured she edged out Austria's Nicole Hosp by 0.4secs, with American Mancuso, who finished a further 0.13secs back, settling for bronze.
It is Hoefl-Riesch's third Olympic gold as she also added the slalom crown to her super combined title at Vancouver 2010.
Hoefl-Riesch was understandably delighted with the result, especially after a disappointing downhill.
"This feels like a fairy tale. I am so happy about winning gold," she said.
"I can't quite believe it. This is really overwhelming. My confidence was a bit knocked before I went down, especially because the downhill didn't go great."
The second gold medal decided on Monday afternoon was in the men's 1500 metre short track, with Canada's Charles Hamelin skating off with the spoils.
Hamelin had qualified as the quickest racer from the three semi-finals earlier in the day, and the 29-year-old lived up to his favourites tag by clocking 2:14.985 in the showpiece.
Han Tianyu claimed the silver medal with a time of 2:15.055, with home favourite Victor An completing the podium.
Hamelin said afterwards: "It's not my best distance, but I had a really good start and was able to control the race afterwards. I am looking forward to continue that strong this week."