Russian figure skater Yevgeny Plushenko did his best to help the Olympic hosts lead the new team skating competition but Japanese teen Yuzuru Hanyu outshone his rivals.
Defying his age and years of surgery, Plushenko, 31, placed second in the men's short programme in the Iceberg Skating Palace behind an inspired Hanyu, 19. However, world champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov put Russia top when they later waltzed to the lead in the pairs event.
As a result, Russia lead with 19 points, Canada is in second place (17 points) and China is sitting two points behind.
Japan are fourth despite Hanyu's heroics as their pairs duo Narumi Takahashi and Ryuichi Kihara placed just seventh.