The gold market got a rare boost at the Sochi Olympics yesterday in the women’s downhill.
Tina Maze of Slovenia and Dominique Gisin of Switzerland were both declared winners when they finished with identical times. Lara Gut of Switzerland won the bronze.
On a day when temperatures approached 10oC, Maze and Gisin completed the 2.7km Rosa Khutor course in 1 minute, 41.57 seconds. Gut was 0.10 seconds back.
Two favorites, Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany and Julia Mancuso of the US, were out of contention. Hoefl-Riesch, eyeing a record-equaling fourth Olympic Alpine gold, finished 13th. Mancuso was eighth.
“It’s actually crazy that it comes down to one-hundredths [of a second] and there is not one-thousandths as a tiebreaker,” Mancsuo said.
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. Twice, two women have tied for second in Olympic giant slaloms.
Five other sports were awarding gold medals on Day 6 of the Olympics: figure skating pairs, luge, Nordic combined, snowboarding and speedskating.
In an early women’s hockey game, Finland beat Switzerland 4-3, with Jenni Hiirikoski scoring her second goal of the game with 2:22 left in overtime. Switzerland was winless in group play. Both teams will play in the quarter-finals.
On Tuesday, the most decorated country in Winter Olympic history earned four more medals, and the most famous snowboarder in the world had his hopes for a third straight gold in the halfpipe dashed.
Norway won double gold in the cross-country freestyle sprints while picking up silver medals in the women’s sprint and in the women’s 10km biathlon pursuit. That gave the Norwegians the medal lead as the Games concluded their fifth day, and it pushed their overall total to 317 since the Winter Olympics began in 1924.
The US saw several of their best hopes evaporate, including Shaun White, the flamboyant snowboarder, who was dethroned by Iouri Podladtchikov.
Known as “I-Pod,” the Russian-born Swiss snowboarder was flawless, while White failed to master his rival’s best trick.
Another US gold medal prospect, cross-country skier Kikkan Randall, was eliminated in the qualifying rounds of the women’s freestyle sprint. Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway took the gold in that race, with teammate Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg earning silver.
Ola Vigen Hattestad captured the men’s sprint title in a race marred by a three-skier collision. Emil Joensson of Sweden, who had all but given up earlier in the race, grabbed the bronze after Sergey Ustiugov of Russia, Marcus Hellner of Sweden and Anders Gloeersen of Norway were involved in a crash that left them sprawled across the course. Soft snow caused a number of spills throughout the day.
SNOWBOARDING: The trick that White could not master is called “YOLO” — You Only Live Once. Podladtchikov created it and landed it successfully. White tried it twice, but could not match I-Pod, settling for fourth and no medal.
‧ CROSS-COUNTRY: Hattestad took the early lead, avoided the crash behind him and then held off Teodor Peterson of Sweden for the gold. Peterson finished 1.2 seconds behind for silver. Vesna Fabjan of Slovenia won the bronze in the women’s sprint. Besides Randall, Marit Bjoergen of Norway was also eliminated early.
BIATHLON: Darya Domracheva of Belarus led for most of the women’s 10km pursuit race, missing only the last target before finishing in 29 minutes, 30.7 seconds. Tora Berger of Norway took silver, and Teja Gregorin of Slovenia claimed the bronze.
SLOPESTYLE SKIING: Dara Howell won gold with a score of 94.20, trouncing the rest of the field, and Kim Lamarre earned bronze to give the Canadians seven medals in four days of snowboarding and freestyle skiing, including three events in which they took two of the top three spots.
“We’re over the moon right now,” Canadian Freestyle Skiing Association chief executive Peter Judge said.
Devin Logan of the US took silver. Canada’s big day was tempered by teammate Yuki Tsubota’s crash on the slushy snow. She was carried off the mountain on a stretcher with a possible fractured jaw.
SPEEDSKATING: Lee Sang-hwa won the women’s 500m and set an Olympic record of 37.28 seconds in her second race, beating the mark of 37.30 set by Catriona Le May Doan at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. Her combined time of 1 minute, 14.70 seconds also was an Olympic record, beating Le May Doan’s mark of 1:14.75. Olga Fatkulina of Russia won the silver, and Margot Boer of the Netherlands got the bronze.
LUGE: Natalie Geisenberger’s victory was Germany’s fifth straight in women’s luge. Teammate Tatjana Huefner won the silver and Erin Hamlin picked up the bronze, the first singles luge medal ever for the US.
SKI JUMPING: Carina Vogt won the first gold medal in women’s ski jumping. The 22-year-old German overcame heavy favorite Sara Takanashi, the World Cup leader in the sport who ended up a disappointing fourth. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver and Colin Mattell of France earned bronze.