Olympics: Geisenberger leads luge, US eye ending 50-year wait

Three-time world champion Natalie Geisenberger led after the first two races of the women's Olympic luge Monday as Erin Hamlin put the United States on course for a first ever medal after 50 years of trying.

German 26-year-old Geisenberger clocked 1min 39.814sec for two runs for a commanding 0.766sec lead over compatriot and reigning Olympic champion Tatjana Huefner.

"I had two excellent runs tonight especially the first one, which was almost perfect," said Geisenberger, the bronze medallist in Vancouver in 2010, who also set a new track record.

Hamlin, the 2009 world champion, is third, just 0.052sec behind Huefner.

She is in position to win the first ever Olympic medal in luge singles for the US since the sport was introduced in 1964.

She goes into Tuesday's final two runs with a 0.216sec lead on fourth-placed Natalja Khoreva of Russia.

"I'm really happy with what I've done today," Hamlin said. "I made some slight mistakes on the first slope, but in the break I watched it on video and it helped me to improve my performance in the second.

"I'm truly excited at having a chance to win the first ever Olympic single medal for my country. On Tuesday I'll do everything I can to keep my position."