Winter Olympics 2014: Dominique Gisin and Tina Maze share the downhill gold medal as Brit Chemmy Alcott compares her 19th-place finish to victory
Alcott claimed the result was up there with her best having fought back from a broken leg whule Gisin and Maze share the win in the women's downhill
Wednesday 12 February 2014
In a first for alpine skiing and after one of the most dramatic finishes the Winter Olympics has witnessed, the women’s downhill gold was shared after Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Dominique Gisin of Switzerland stopped the clock at exactly the same time.
The two women held hands and stepped on to the podium together after both flew across the finish line at the foot of the 2,713-metre course at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre in 1min 41.57sec. In all, 0.1sec covered the first three across the line, with Lara Gut, another Swiss, taking bronze.
The technology is available to record thousandths of a second – if requested ahead of an event – but the FIS, skiing’s governing body, chose not to and so the gold medal was shared.
Britain’s Chemmy Alcott, who came a creditable 19th after recovering from a broken leg six months ago, described it as an “epic” race. Gisin, who trained as a Swiss Air Force pilot, went first and set a pace that neither America’s Julia Mancuso nor Maria Höfl-Riesch, the German pre-race favourite, could come close to matching. Then came Maze, back home in Slovenia a model and pop star in between a sporting career which had already yielded two silvers at the Vancouver Games four years ago.
By now temperatures had risen to 10C and the snow in the last 100m, according to Höfl-Riesch, had softened. Maze was 0.38sec faster through the fourth time check but slowed over the bottom half. When she crossed the line, her name flashed up on top of the scoreboard and for a few tense moments Gisin was unsure as to whether she was still in the gold medal position. When the tie was confirmed, she burst into tears of relief. Her coach rubbed snow on her face to cool her down.
Oddly, it is not the first time either woman has been involved in a dead heat. Gisin has now tied two of her three major downhill victories while Maze had a three-way tie 12 years ago.
As the winners savoured their day so too did Alcott. The Briton, skiing in her fourth Games, has suffered two broken legs in the last four years. She crossed the line 1.86sec slower than the gold medallists. “After what I’ve been through, it’s amazing justice,” she said. “I know it sounds crazy to some people but 19th is a gold for me.”
Britain’s women curlers were beaten for the second time in three games yesterday, losing 9-6 to Canada. Eve Muirhead had a chance to win the match on the last end but missed with her final stone.
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista sent to Paris to speed up move; Luis Suarez bid planned; Gunners eye Daniele Rugani
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berydch: Murray cool over reunion with coach Dani Vallverdu at the Australian Open
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Pair finally meet at NBA game and shake hands, will the fight be announced during Super Bowl?
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea new deal; Gareth Bale on speculation; Wilfried Zaha exit
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures