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updated: 2/12/2014 6:13 AM

Maze and Gisin tie for Olympic downhill gold

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  • Women's downhill gold medalists Switzerland's Dominique Gisin, left, and Slovenia's Tina Maze, right, hold hands Wednesday during a flower ceremony at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

      Women's downhill gold medalists Switzerland's Dominique Gisin, left, and Slovenia's Tina Maze, right, hold hands Wednesday during a flower ceremony at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
    associated press

 
Associated Press

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia -- In a rare tie in Alpine skiing, Tina Maze of Slovenia and Dominique Gisin of Switzerland both won Olympic gold Wednesday in the women's downhill.

The pair sped down the Rosa Khutor course in 1 minute, 41.57 seconds. Lara Gut of Switzerland was 0.10 behind in third.

Wearing bib No. 21, Maze had started 30 minutes after No. 8 Gisin as temperatures approached 50 degrees.

Maze led Gisin at each time split and speed check but then appeared to be slowed by softening snow on the final slope.

Still, Maze stretched both arms overhead and threw her race goggles in the air after seeing that she shared the lead. It's the best result in a difficult season for the Slovene, who has struggled to match her exceptional 2013 campaign.

Though Maze won two silvers at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Gisin earned her first major medal at the age of 28.

Gisin, who last won a downhill race in January 2009, came out of the leader's box and into the finish area to hug Maze after she completed her run.

Four years ago, Gisin's Olympic downhill ended when she crashed off the final jump and endured a long slide to the finish line where she hit a bank of snow and was tossed into the air.

This time, the Swiss racer was in tears while taking a celebration call on her mobile phone.

The last tie in Olympic skiing happened in men's super-G at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Didier Cuche of Switzerland and Hans Knauss of Austria both got silver behind winner Hermann Maier.

Twice, two women have tied for second place in Olympic giant slalom races.

At the 1992 Albertville Olympics, Diann Roffe of the United States and Anita Wachter of Austria both took silver behind Pernilla Wiberg of Sweden. At the 1964 Innsbruck Olympics, Christine Goitschel of France and Jean Saubert of the United States were second to gold medalist Marielle Goitschel of France.

On Wednesday, pre-race favorites Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany and Julia Mancuso of the United States slipped out of contention, racing after Gisin.

Hoefl-Riesch, who sought a record-equaling fourth Olympic Alpine gold, was 1.17 back in 13th place. Mancuso, who started No. 12, trailed by 0.99 in eighth place after losing more than a half-second in the lower sections.

Mancuso had been fastest in the downhill portion of the super-combined on Monday, in which she finished third and Hoefl-Riesch won.

That day, Gut had been second-fastest in the speed discipline.

In a nasty crash, No. 4 starter Marie Marchand-Arvier of France slid back-first into safety fencing after losing her balance over a jump. She did not appear to be seriously hurt.

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