Also at the Games, China's Eileen Gu got her maiden Olympics off to a dream start as the US-born teenager landed a tricky jump to become the freeski Big Air champion.

Ledecka, of the Czech Republic, defended her snowboard parallel giant slalom title with a quick final run on a sun-splashed course.
Ledecka, of the Czech Republic, defended her snowboard parallel giant slalom title with a quick final run on a sun-splashed course. (AFP)

Dual winter sports champion Ester Ledecka has successfully defended her snowboard parallel giant slalom title at the Beijing Olympics — even if she did not immediately realise it.

The 26-year-old Czech became the first woman to win gold in two different sports at a Winter Olympics when she took skiing and snowboarding titles in Pyeongchang four years ago.

On Tuesday, she won snowboard parallel giant slalom gold again in the Chinese capital when she cruised to victory in the final against Austria's Daniela Ulbing.

"I was concentrating on each run and I was still thinking about what I could do better in the next run," she said. "And then I realised that there wasn't going to be any other run."

Ledecka will now switch to skis and attempt to win another gold medal in the super-G on Friday.

"I'm very happy that I can do so many races and I hope I will switch myself very fast," she said.

Austria's Benjamin Karl won gold in the men's parallel giant slalom, beating Slovenia's Tim Mastnak in the final.

"As a child of 10 I wrote that I would be world champion, I would be the fastest racer in the world and I would be Olympic champion," said Karl.

"The last one was missing and I did everything in the last years to prepare for the Olympics."

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A flood of interest in Gu's win briefly crashed the popular Chinese social media site Weibo, according to online technology and sports news sites in China.
A flood of interest in Gu's win briefly crashed the popular Chinese social media site Weibo, according to online technology and sports news sites in China. (AP)

Gold for Eileen Gu

Californian-born teenage freestyle skier Eileen Gu won gold for China on her Olympic debut at the Beijing Games on Tuesday.

Austria's Matthias Mayer, meanwhile, went "all in" to successfully defend his super-G title, becoming the first men's alpine skier to win gold medals in three consecutive Games.

But the day belonged to 18-year-old Gu, who justified all the pre-Games hype by nailing her third and final run in the Big Air to snatch gold from Tess Ledeux and force the French competitor into the silver medal position.

"That was the best moment of my life. The happiest moment, day, whatever... of my life. I just cannot believe what just happened," said the grade-A student and part-time model, who switched allegiance from the US to China in 2019.

Ten gold medals were up for grabs on the fourth full day of competition in the Chinese capital, in sports including curling, luge, snowboarding and speed skating.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies