USA's Julia Mancuso Misses Downhill Medal Podium

Decorated American skier Julia Mancuso failed to notch her second medal of the Sochi Games in Wednesday's historic downhill competition.

Though she stormed through the top section of the Rosa Khutor course, gaining an early lead, she slipped behind on its lower slopes, landing in seventh place by the end of the race.

She finished with a time of 1 minute 42.56 seconds, nearly a full second behind tied first-place finishers Dominique Gisin, of Switzerland and Tina Maze of Slovenia. The gold medal pair became first ever to share the top of the podium in a women's Olympic donwhill event. Lara Gut of Switzerland finished directly behind the pair and will take bronze. No one wins the silver.

Mancuso's disappointment comes after notching a bronze medal at Monday's super combined — largely on the strength of her downhill performance, which she dominated with a first-place finish.

While the Rosa Khutor course has been dogged by warm temperatures that forced the cancellation of the fifth and final downhill training session Tuesday, Mancuso, 29, managed just fine under similarly warm conditions during her medal run earlier this week.

In that race Mancuso won bronze for her fourth career Olympic medal. After striking gold in Torino and winning a pair of silvers in the Vancouver Games, Mancuso became the first American Alpine skier to medal in three consecutive Winter Olympics.

She entered Wednesday's race under additional pressure, after American favorite Bode Miller was unable to crack the top three in the men's downhill on Sunday. 

There was also the pressure of being the American favorite in place of Lindsey Vonn. The reigning downhill champion, and first-ever American woman to win gold in the event, was forced to sit out the Sochi Games because of a bad knee injury.

Americans Jacqueline Wiles, Laurenne Ross and Stacey Cook also failed to medal after their downhill runs on Wednesday.

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