SOCHI, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Reigning world champions Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov and Turin Olympic gold medalist Evgeni Plushenko gave the hosts the lead at the figure skating team event after the pairs and men's short programs here on Thursday.
Canada ranked second thanks to Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford's second place finish in pairs and reigning world champion Patrick Chan's third place in men's.
China came in third as Peng Cheng/Zhang Hao finished third in pairs while Yan Han ranked fourth in the men's.
"After the men's short (program), we had a little extra pressure after Patrick Chan was in third place," said Duhamel.
Skating to the music from Waltz Masquerade, Volosozhar/Trankov performed flawlessly and infectiously to get a score of 83.79 points. Canada's Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford, bronze medalist of the World Championships last year, trailed in 73.10. Chinese pair Peng Cheng/Zhang Hao came in third with 71.01.
"We skated very carefully today. We wanted to show all our emotions and all our strength on the ice and concentrate on completing all our elements," said Trankov. "I think we managed this very important task and we are happy we have put Russia into first place in this event for the first time in the Olympic Games."
Trankov also praised Plushenko's performance.
"He is a leader. Everyone in our team wants to be like him and will follow him. He is a great star and a great leader and I am proud to skate in a team with this amazing athlete," he said.
Plushenko had led the men's short program until he was upstaged by Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu.
The 19-year-old Hanyu delivered a flawless performance to score 97.98 points. Plushenko ranked second in 91.39, which was his personal best. Patrick Chan came in third with 89.71, with Yan Han of China fourth in 85.52.
The team event made its debut at the Sochi Games. It features 10 teams and each has one representative competing in men's singles, women's singles, pairs and ice dancing. They each perform a short program after which the top five teams progress to perform a free skate.