Rzhanaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Russia remained atop the leaderboard in the men's two-man bobsled competition following a stellar third run Monday, while the top team for the United States sat in third heading into the fourth and final run at the Sochi Olympics.
After posting the best time in each of the first two runs Sunday, Alexander Zubkov, with brakeman Alexey Voevoda, piloted the Russian sled to a track record time of 56.08 seconds, giving the Russians a total time of 2 minutes, 48.90 seconds.
With just one run remaining, Russia holds a half-second lead over Switzerland's top team, while the top U.S. squad sat .19 seconds behind the Swiss in third.
The U.S. sled piloted by Steven Holcomb started the day .36 seconds off the pace set by the Russians, but the Americans saw that number nearly double after finishing .33 seconds slower than the host nation in their third run.
Zubkov's strong third run kept him in position for his first Olympic gold after two-man bronze in 2006 and four-man silver in 2010, while Holcomb, who's paired with brakeman Steve Langton, has the Americans in line for their first two-man medal at the Olympics since 1952.
However, Canadian two-man pilot Justin Kripps has his team nipping at the Americans' heels, as the top Canadian squad sat just .09 seconds behind the U.S. heading into the final run.
The top 20 times after the third run advanced to the finals. Canada's other two teams finished in eighth and ninth to move on, while the Americans also advanced three teams into the final run after their two remaining sleds finished in 12th and 13th place.