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

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.

Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence