Canadian Jon Montgomery put together clean and consistent runs to place second after two heats in the men’s skeleton at the Whistler Sliding Centre in Vancouver on Thursday night.
Montgomery placed the fastest time in the second heat posting a run of 52.57 seconds, narrowly edging the leader after two rounds, Latvian Martins Dukurs, by 0.02 seconds.
Dukurs was the first competitor out of the gate in heat one and he would set the bar too high for the other sliders to contest. He set a track record with an impressive time of 52.32 seconds. The closest slider was Montgomery, finishing 0.28 second behind Dukurs.
Toronto native Michael Douglas followed Montgomery’s first performance with a solid showing, finishing in fifth after the first run. In the second run Douglas wasn’t able to build on his early success finishing 0.96 seconds back of Dukurs, dropping to seventh.
Veteran Canadian slider, Jeff Pain, rounded out the top ten after posting a total time of 1:46.21 seconds, 1.30 seconds back of the leader.
Alexander Tretyakov of Russia would set a start time record in his second run with an incredible 4.48 second start to push. Despite having the best times out of the gate, Tretyakov could not build on the momentum. Tretyakov placed third in both the first and second heat and sits behind Dukurs by 0.84 seconds.
The competition was tight in the second run as a trend began to appear in the sliders finishes. Four consecutive sliders would finish a mere few hundredths of a second ahead of the leader. It would create a rotary atop of the leaderboard until Dukurs took the stage.
The final two heats will be held on Friday evening, at 9:20PM EST and 10:50PM EST.