Thornbury in strong position to make final

New Zealand's Rhys Thornbury has a strong chance to make the skeleton Winter Olympics medal round having placed eighth after the first day of competition.

Thornbury clocked one minute 41.93 seconds over Thursday's two heats to sit safely inside top-20 cut-off, with one more qualification heat remaining.

The 28-year-old, who is 1.58 seconds off South Korean leader Sungbin Yun, will vie for a medal in PyeongChang on Friday, with the winner decided by the fastest cumulative time over the four runs.

World No.14 Thornbury's first run of 50.9 seconds was just 0.62 off Yun before the local hope cemented his position.

"I'll definitely go away from here feeling positive about tomorrow," Thornbury said.

"Consistent runs, haven't dropped any spots in the second run.

"The second run, the guys in front maybe just went a little bit far ahead but it's still all to play for.

"I'm not disappointed at all."

Thornbury, a member of the British Royal Air Force, lamented his lack of experience having only taken the sport seriously after the Sochi 2014 Olympics.

But he was pleased to be jostling with the top-10 for position.

"Just lacking in speed a little bit. I haven't been doing it for as long as these guys. The experience really shows," he said.

"But I'm trying my best. I've had great training runs. I knew it was going to be tough on race day with guys pushing faster than me.

"It's hard to crawl it back but feeling good for tomorrow for sure."

Meanwhile, New Zealand cross snowboarder Duncan Campbell has been eliminated in the first round of finals after placing last in his five-man race.

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