Rzhanaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Russia had the fastest four-man bobsled team on Saturday following the first two of four scheduled heats to determine medals at the Sochi Olympics.
The Russian-1 sled had the quickest time in the first heat at 54.82 seconds before finishing fourth in the second run with a time of 55.37. That gave the group a total time of 1 minute, 50.19 seconds.
That is just 0.04 seconds ahead of Latvia, which used the fastest second-heat time of 55.13 to jump into second place.
The first sleds by both Germany and the U.S. were 2-3, respectively, after the first heat, but were bumped down a slot by Latvia after the second run. Germany is 0.16 seconds behind Russia, with the U.S. another 0.01 ticks back.
The final two heats to determine medals will take place on Sunday.
A second four-man team by the U.S. was 11th with a total time of 1:51.09.
The second heat featured a scary crash by the Canada-3 sled, which went into the run in eighth place. The bobsled spent a good portion of its run going down the track on its side, but all four racers were able to walk away from the crash seemingly unharmed.
The USA-1 sled is piloted by Steven Holcomb, who helped his four-man group win gold four years ago in the Vancouver Games. Holcomb picked up his second Olympic medal on Monday, a bronze with Steven Langton in the two-man.
Germany had won four straight Olympic gold medals in four-man bobsled before Holcomb's sled ended the streak in 2010. The current Germany-1 sled features the same four-man group that took first place in the 2013 World Championships.