SOCHI, Russia - Thrilling their countrymen on the first day of competition at the Sochi Olympics, Russia took the lead after the pairs and men's short programs in the new event of team figure skating.
Three-time Olympic medalist Evgeni Plushenko finished second to Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu in the men's portion Thursday night, then world champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov convincingly won the pairs.
The combined 19 points - 10 for first place, nine for second - lifted the hosts ahead of Canada, which earned nine points in pairs from Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, and eight in men's from three-time world champion Patrick Chan.
The team competition continues Saturday with ice dance, the women's short program and the pairs free skate. It concludes Sunday with the other three long programs.
The team event includes all four disciplines, with the ice dancers and women getting started Saturday.
For coverage of Minnesota Olympians, Bea Change and Dave Schwartz, go to www.kare11.com/sports/road-to-sochi.
For more on NBC's Olympic coverage and streaming, go to www.nbcolympics.com/kare.