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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory