Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt have continued the German gold rush at Sochi with first place in the luge men's doubles. Meanwhile, Germany's figure skating duo had to settle for bronze for the second straight Olympics.
Victory for Wendl and Arlt handed Germany their third luge gold medal of the Games in Sochi, Russia, and the team's sixth overall.
The World Cup-winning duo held off Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger - the reigning two-time Olympic champions - by .522 seconds after their two runs. Wendl and Arlt set a new track record with their first run, clocking a time of 49.373 seconds. Latvian brothers Andris and Juris Sics claimed bronze.
Wrapping up competition for the evening, Russian duo Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov came out on top to win their second gold medal in pairs figure skating.
Four-time figure skating world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany won bronze for the second straight Olympics with an overall score of 215.78.
Frenzel takes gold
Earlier on Wednesday, Eric Frenzel won Germany's fifth gold in the Nordic combined.
Coming into the cross country portion of Wednesday's Nordic combined event, Frenzel posted the longest jump of the day on the normal hill in the event that combines ski jumping with a 10 km (6.2 mile) cross-country ski race.
He and Japan's Akito Watabe were neck and neck for most of the cross-country portion of the event at the Sochi Games' RusSki Gorki ski center.
But in the final stretch of the race, Frenzel was able to pull away from Watabe before collapsing across the finish line in joy in a final time of 23 minutes, 50.2 seconds - living up to expectations that he would take the event.
Watabe was 4.2 seconds behind in second, and Magnus King - after starting over a minute behind Frenzel in the staggered start to the cross-country portion of the race - took bronze after closing to within 8.1 seconds of Frenzel.
Tie for gold
Also on Wednesday, in an unprecedented finish, Switzerland's Dominque Gisin and Slovenia's Tina Maze tied for gold in the women's downhill alpine skiing event.
Gisin started eighth on a sunny Wednesday morning at the Rosa Khutor downhill ski course at the Sochi Olympics, and posted a time of 1 minute, 41.57 seconds.
For her, watching each racer come down the mountain chasing her time was a test of nerves that culminated when Tina Maze, who started 21st, crossed the line in an identical time.
None of the other 35 women in the women's downhill competition could best the two women's time, meaning they will share the gold medal for the first time in the history of women's Olympic downhill skiing.
Lara Gut, also of Switzerland, finished .1 second behind Gisin and Maze, to take the bronze medal.
Maze's split times were consistently ahead of Gisin on the upper part of the icy course, which glistened with a wet sheen where the sun shone. However, a mistake near the end of the run put her lead in question.
"I made a pretty big mistake at the bottom, and I thought it wasn't going to be enough", Maze said in an interview with German broadcaster ZDF after the race.
Gisin told ZDF that it would be an "honor" to share the top step of the podium with Maze, who she called "a great skier."
Germany's Maria Höfl-Riesch, a favorite coming into Wednesday's downhill competition, finished in 13th on a day that saw temperatures reach 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). She had hoped to add another medal to her Sochi tally afterwinning the super combined event
on Monday. She will also compete in the Super-G Friday.
Julia Mancuso, the American skier who finished third in the super combined, was eighth in the downhill event. Gisin was fifth in the super combined while Maze was fourth.
Maze's gold is Slovenia's first of the Sochi Olympics and fourth medal overall. Switzerland now also have four medals overall, including two gold medals in addition to Gisin's.
A tie for gold is not unheard of at the Winter Olympics but has only happened on three other occasions. There have been two ties for silver medals in women's downhill skiing history, but never a tie for gold.
mz, hc/jr (sid, Reuters)