KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (WKBT) - Midway through the Olympic men's skeleton competition, Matt Antoine has a shot to win the United States' first medal in the sport since 2002.
The Prairie du Chien, Wis. native sits in fourth place, with a combined time of 1:53.84. He posted a 56.89 on his first run, followed by a 56.95 on his second run.
Russian Aleksandr Tretiyakov (1:51.99) sits in first, Latvian Martins Dukurs (1:52.55) sits in second and American John Daly (1:53.58) is in third.
"Nothing is a foregone conclusion in this sport, anything can happen, but Tretiyakov and Dukurs seem to have those first two medals locked in and the rest of the field is definitely fighting for bronze," Antoine said.
Antoine and Daly, who are best friends, appear to be the most likely contenders to take bronze.
"We had an idea that the two of us would be battling it out, so I don't think either of us is necessarily surprised," Antoine said. "Our goal is to win medals."
This is the first of two days of competition. Each Olympic athlete completes a total of four runs (two runs each day). Medals are awarded based on total time from the four runs. The winner has the lowest total time.
"I think it's good to get the first day out of the way, it helps you relax. I'm a little more accustomed to the atmosphere and know what to expect heading into the next day," Antoine said.
The competition continues Saturday at 8:45 a.m. CT.