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China's Yang wins her 3rd para cross-country skiing gold medal at Beijing 2022

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-03-12 15:18
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CHONGLI - Yang Hongqiong became the most decorated Chinese Para-Olympian after the cross-country skier clinched the women's middle distance sitting gold at the Beijing Winter Paralympics here on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Paralympic debutant has become the first Chinese Para skier to collect three gold medals at a single Games after her victories in long distance and sprint sitting. It is host China's 17th gold at the Beijing Games.

"The Olympic spirit is what gets me going. I wasn't expecting to win anything but just to give it my all," said Yang, who took up the sport in 2018.

"Today, I wanted to push the limits of my body," she added.

Oksana Masters of the United States took the silver while Yang's teammate Ma Jing pocketed the bronze.

On what it means to win her first Paralympic medal, having finished seventh in the sprint and fifth in the long distance, Ma said, "this is probably my last Paralympics as I am 34 years old now. For me, this is the best way to mark the final day of individual events."

Having competed in athletics at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, Ma said, "I transferred to winter sports in 2019 and was just admitted to the national team in April last year. I impressed the coach with my hard work and performance and he helped me get qualified for the Paralympic team."

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