- Associated Press - Saturday, February 15, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — One year after a giant meteor streaked across Russia’s sky, Aleksandr Tretiyakov flashed by.

Accelerating down his home track lined from top to bottom with flag-waving, chanting countrymen, Tretiakov won the Olympic gold medal in men’s skeleton on Saturday night, blasting away from the world’s top sliders who were no match for his breakneck speed and precise driving.

Tretiyakov completed four trips down the Sanki Sliding Center track in 3 minutes, 44.29 seconds, easily beating Latvia’s Martins Dukurs (3:45.10), who settled for silver again after having gold slip from his hands four years ago in Vancouver.

Matt Antoine of Prairie du Chien, Wis., won the bronze, the first skeleton medal for an American man since Jimmy Shea’s gold in 2002. John Daly of Smithtown, N.Y., entered the final run in fourth place, but had his sled jump from the grooves in the starting ramp and dropped all the way to 15th.