U.S. racers in third and fourth after first day of men’s skeleton

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John Daly and Matt Antoine of the U.S. are right behind two of the gold medal contenders after the first day of men’s skeleton at the Sanki Sliding Center.

Daly (pictured) is third and in bronze medal position behind leader Aleksander Tretiakov of Russia and Martins Dukurs of Latvia at 1.59 seconds off the pace, while Antoine runs fourth at .26 of a second behind his teammate.

Barring disaster, Daly appears at least set to improve upon his 17th-place result in Vancouver four years ago. Antoine is in his first Olympics.

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Tretiakov (a.k.a. The Russian Rocket), won bronze at Vancouver and is racing on home ice as the reigning world champion. As for Dukurs, he’s coming off a silver in Vancouver.

The third American man, Kyle Tress, sits 21st going into tomorrow.

Today’s event nearly turned horrific after an incident that involved Irish racer Sean Greenwood, who went up the track and was sent airborne before landing at speed on his side.

Somehow, Greenwood held on to his sled and got back on to complete his run, which now joins Indian luger Shiva Keshavan’s own wild ride as one of the more jaw-dropping moments so far in Sochi.

source: Getty Images
Sean Greenwood acknowledges the crowd after his amazing save in today’s men’s skeleton competition. Photo: Getty Images

MEN’S SKELETON – FIRST DAY (2 RUNS)
1. Aleksander Tretiakov (RUS), 1:51.99
2. Martins Dukurs (LAT), +.56
3. John Daly (USA), +1.59
4. Matt Antoine (USA), +1.85