Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Austrian Mario Matt posted the fastest time after the first run of the men's slalom on Saturday at the Sochi Olympics.
Matt, a two-time world champion (2001, 2007) breezed through the slalom course at Rosa Khutor, crossing the finish line in 46.70 seconds, .45 seconds faster than Andre Myhrer of Sweden.
Italy's Stefano Gross and Sweden's Mattias Hargin both posted a time of 47.45 and sit in third place.
American Ted Ligety, who gave the U.S. alpine skiing team its first gold in Sochi with his win in the giant slalom on Wednesday, finished with a time of 47.56, putting him sixth and .11 out of third place.
Fellow American Bode Miller was expected to compete against his countrymate in the slalom, but tweaked his surgically repaired left knee in Wednesday's giant slalom, leaving the 36-year-old six-time Olympic medalist unable to ski.
The U.S. hasn't medaled in this event since the 1984 Sarajevo Games, when twin brothers Phillip and Steven Mahre won gold and silver, respectively.
Two of the more heavily favored skiers in this event, Austrian Marcel Hirscher and Germany's Felix Neureuther, were seventh and ninth, respectively.
Italy's Giuliano Razzoli, who won the gold medal in this event four years ago, was a distant 16th after his first run with a time of 48.50.
Yohan Goncalves Goutt, the first athlete from East Timor to compete at an Olympic Winter Games since it became an independent nation in 2002, was the last of the 113 skiers to run and was the 77th qualifier.
Thirty skiers were not invited back for the second run.