Matt Weston has the lead in the men's skeleton standings at the halfway point ©IBSF

Britain's Matt Weston and Germany's Susanne Kreher are leading the men's and women's skeleton standings after two of four runs on the opening day of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Championships, as some of the favourites struggled in St. Moritz.

After being crowned European champion last week in Altenberg ahead of fancied home favourites Christopher Grotheer and Axel Jungk of Germany, Weston had a perfect start in the men's competition. 

He recorded the fastest runs in both of the opening rounds, to end day one with a combined time of 2min 13.96sec.

It gives him a nice cushion over the rest of the field, with his closest challenger so far being Italian Amedeo Bagnis, who sits 1.13sec behind.

Consistency has helped Weston's compatriot Marcus Wyatt, who sits third, 1.30 off the pace - and marginally in front of Jung Seung-gi of South Korea, who is one-hundredth of a second off the medals as it stands.

Britain have three sliders in the top five thanks to Craig Thompson, who is 1.38 behind the leader.

IBSF World Cup leader and Olympic champion Grotheer looks unlikely to win a third-straight world title in the men's competition, as he currently sits ninth in the standings, nearly two seconds behind Weston.

Jungk is further down the field in 18th.

Susanne Kreher leads the women's standings ©IBSF
Susanne Kreher leads the women's standings ©IBSF

European bronze medallist and last year's world junior champion Kreher has the lead in the women's competition, sitting ahead of Canadians Mirela Rahneva and Jane Channell with a time of 2:16.38.

Second in the IBSF World Cup standings, Rahneva is 0.39sec behind the German in second place, followed by Channell, who has yet to win a major individual medal, with the exception of four career podiums on the World Cup circuit.

Channell is 0.50 behind Kreher, followed by Kimberley Bos of The Netherlands, 0.54 behind; and Germany's Tina Hermann, the World Cup leader, who has a gap of 0.59 to the top of the standings.