China were handed a boost in the build-up to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics as Gong Naiying delivered home success at the International Ski Federation Alpine Snowboard World Cup at the Genting Resort Secret Garden in Chongli.
Gong's pursuit of a first World Cup victory was enhanced by taking the scalp of Austria's Sabine Schoeffmann in the quarter-final stage of the women's parallel slalom competition.
She overcame Schoeffmann, who lies second in the World Cup standings, by a margin of 0.27 seconds to advance to the last four at the Beijing 2022 venue.
A narrow 0.12 second win over Germany's Selina Joerg saw Gong guarantee herself at least a silver medal.
The 20-year-old snowboarder continued to emerge on the right side of narrow victories, as she crossed 0.35 seconds clear of Switzerland's Julie Zogg in the final to secure gold.
Gong's success will boost China's hopes with three years to go until their home Winter Olympic Games.
The country has only ever won one snowboarding medal at the Olympic Games, which came at Pyeongchang 2018 in the women's halfpipe.
Gong's World Cup success against a field including the Olympic champion Ester Ledecká of the Czech Republic suggests China could have an emerging medal contender.
The Chinese snowboarder was joined on the podium by Zogg, as well as bronze medallist Joerg.
Joerg saw off the challenge of Switzerland's Patrizia Kummer in the small final to end third overall.
Ledecká, yesterday's winner, lost in the quarter-finals.
The World Cup parallel slalom standings are led by Zogg on 2,020 points heading into the final event at Winterberg in Germany, with Schoeffmann second on 1,800.
The Parallel World Cup standings, which include giant slalom results, are headed by Ledecká on 4,650 points.
She is narrowly clear of Schoeffmann and Joerg, who boast 4,540 and 4,529 points respectively.
Top spot in today’s men’s race at the Secret Garden PSL World Cup went to Italy’s Daniele Bagozza for his first career win!— fissnowboard (@fissnowboard) February 24, 2019
1) Daniele Bagozza 🇮🇹
2) Dmitry Loginov 🇷🇺
3) Roland Fischnaller 🇮🇹
Full results - https://t.co/lTmoc52Sv2#snowboardworldcup #secretgarden pic.twitter.com/1lrbMrCh4X
The men's competition saw Italy's Daniele Bagozza secure victory, as he overcame Russia's Dmitry Loginov in the final.
It followed Loginov being disqualified by the officials.
Bronze was earned by Italy's Roland Fischnaller, who beat China's Zhang Xuan by 0.07 seconds in the small final.
Russia's Andrey Sobolev tops the men's parallel slalom World Cup standings on 1,810 points, with Switzerland's Dario Saviezel just 30 adrift.
Following his bronze medal today, Fischnaller moved to the top of the overall Parallel World Cup leaderboard.
The Italian has 3,610 points with Sobolev lying in second place on 3,445.
Austria's Andreas Prommegger, who led the standings heading into the back-to-back competitions in China, dropped to third on 3,316.