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Olympic first: Gisin, Maze tie for gold in women's downhill

Updated: 2014-02-12T13:26:29Z

By Sports Network

The Sports Network

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - For the first time in Olympic history, an alpine skiing race ended in a tie for gold.

Switzerland's Dominique Gisin and Tina Maze of Slovenia will share gold after posting identical times in the women's downhill Wednesday at the Sochi Olympics.

Gisin was the eighth competitor down the course at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center and she set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 41.57 seconds. Maze went off in the 21st spot and matched Gisin's run. Both Gisin and Maze finished just a tenth of a second ahead of Switzerland's Lara Gut, who claimed the bronze for her first Olympic medal.

Maze earned her third Olympic medal and became the first Slovenian to win gold at the Winter Games. She previously won silver in both the super-G and giant slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

"I have no words. This doesn't feel real," said Maze. "The first ski race I ever won in my life was a downhill, so before I went down the track today I said to myself, 'this has to be it, I can do it', and I just went for it."

Gisin, who failed to finish the downhill event four years ago in Vancouver, claimed her first Olympic medal.

"Four years ago I cried as well but in a different way," an ecstatic Gisin said.

Julia Mancuso of the United States failed to pick up her second medal in Sochi, placing eighth in Wednesday's competition. Mancuso, who won bronze Monday in the super combined, was attempting to claim her fifth Olympic medal to match Bode Miller for the most by any U.S. alpine skier.

Mancuso was in good shape at the top of the course, but had trouble maintaining speed in the latter half of the race. She finished 0.99 seconds behind Gisin and Maze.

"I am disappointed with my skiing, I made some big mistakes," Mancuso said. "I would like to have another chance, but it's over. I have to move on to my next event."

The 29-year-old Mancuso was the silver medalist in the downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Games, finishing second to fellow American Lindsay Vonn, who didn't make the trip to Sochi due to an injured right knee.

American Laurenne Ross finished in 11th place. Stacey Cook and Jacqueline Wiles of the U.S. placed 17th and 26th, respectively.

Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who won her third Olympic gold Monday in the combined, came in 13th place in Wednesday's competition.

Larisa Yurkiw, the lone Canadian in the field, finished 20th.

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