Dominique Gisin and Tina Maze made Winter Olympics history in the women's downhill as they shared the gold medal in Sochi.

Switzerland's Gisin and Slovenian Maze both recorded a time of one minute, 41.57 seconds at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center to become the first athletes to share the top of the podium in the Winter Games.

Gisin was the first to set the benchmark before Maze matched her, with another Swiss, Lara Gut, earning bronze after finishing 0.10 seconds adrift of the pair.

"I have no words. This doesn't feel real. I will have to see my team to get myself together and realise how much this means to us," Maze, who claimed silver in the Super-G and giant slalom four years ago, said.

The soft conditions were just right for 28-year-old Gisin, who said: "This is incredible. I'm overwhelmed with emotions.

"I am so happy - what a day. I don't think I even dreamt about this. Now that I have won, I'm living the dream, but this is better than dreaming."

In the men's curling competition, both Norway and China preserved their unbeaten starts in the round-robin stage in the early matches on Wednesday. Norway beat Germany 8-5 while China edged Switzerland 5-4.

The United States also enjoyed their first win, 9-5 over Denmark.

The women's curlers were also on the ice in the early afternoon with four matches taking place. Unbeaten Canada top the standings following a 9-6 defeat of Great Britain, with defending champions Sweden 7-4 victors over South Korea.

Hosts Russia were beaten 8-4 by Japan and the United States slipped to their fourth successive loss in a 7-4 reverse against China.

Elsewhere, Finland needed an overtime goal from Jenni Hiirikoski to see off Switzerland 4-3 in the first women's ice hockey qualifier of the day, with the men's competition set to get under way in the evening.

Germany's Eric Frenzel held off a strong challenge from Akito Watabe to win the Nordic combined 10km-normal hill gold medal.

Frenzel scored 131.5 points in the opening ski jump event, which was converted to a 0.6 seconds advantage over his Japanese rival heading into the cross country element.

The pair were then neck-and-neck for much of the 10-kilometre course until Frenzel pulled away down the home stretch to claim the gold.

Watabe secured Japan's first medal in the event for 20 years, finishing four seconds behind Frenzel and in silver medal position.

Norway's Magnus Krog completed the podium places, crossing the finish line just ahead of Italian Alessandro Pittin, the bronze medallist from Vancouver four years ago.