Tina Maze and Dominique Gisin tie for gold in Olympic women's downhill

First time in Olympic history

Tina Maze of Slovenia and Dominique Gisin of Switzerland tied for gold Wednesday in the Olympic women's downhill.

Both sped down the Rosa Khutor course in 1 minute, 41.57 seconds. Lara Gut of Switzerland was 0.10 behind in third and Daniela Merighetti of Italy was 0.27 behind in 1:41.84.

Maze had bib No. 21 and started 30 minutes after No. 8 Gisin as temperatures approached 50 degrees (10 C).

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 she shared the lead. It's the best result in a difficult season for the Slovenian, who has struggled to match her exceptional 2013 campaign.

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

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

This time, the 28-year-old Swiss racer was in tears while taking a call on her mobile phone.

Canada's lone skier in the race _ Larisa Yurkiw of Owen Sound, Ont. _ finished 20th with a time of 1:43.46.

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.

Maze won two silvers at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, while Gisin earned her first major medal.

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 medallist Marielle Goitschel of France.

Pre-race favourites 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-equalling 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.

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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