JOHN Jackson raised hopes of a first British bobsleigh medal since 1998 as he steered his crew to the third fastest time on the second run of official practice at the Sanki Sliding Center on Wednesday.
Trowbridge's Jackson, who was seventh fastest on his first run, went down in a time of 56.02 seconds, a time beaten only by Latvia's Oskars Melbardis and Russia's newly-crowned two-man champion Alexander Zubkov.
The Paxcroft Mead driver's bid for a medal will come exactly 50 years since Britain's most famous bobsleigh moment, when Tony Nash and Robin Dixon won two-man gold in the 1964 Innsbruck Games.
And while training times are little more than a reference guide, the early indications are that Jackson is close to completing his recovery from an Achilles injury which threatened to rule him out in the summer.
Jackson and his GB1 crew of Stuart Benson, Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon will begin their quest for an Olympic medal with the first two of their four runs on Saturday.
Jackson said: "Following a strong two weeks in Germany at our preparation camp it was pleasing to see our hard work paying off with a good first day of training."
LOG ON TO WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT THIS AFTERNOON FOR THE FINAL TWO RUNS IN THE WOMEN'S TWO-MAN EVENT FOR JACKSON'S PARTNER PAULA WALKER AND ALSO FOLLOW JACKSON'S PROGRESS THIS WEEKEND AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT