The World Figure Skating Championships began on Wednesday in Helsinki, Finland.
The first day of competition consisted of the women’s and pairs short programs.
China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong lead the field after recording the highest pairs short program score in the world since the 2014 Olympics. The reigning World silver medalists missed the fall season due to Sui’s ankle and foot surgeries last spring. However, since returning to competition, they have looked incredibly strong.
At the Four Continents Championships in February, they posted a personal-best free skate and total scores to win the fourth Four Continents title of their career. Performing to “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, Wenjing and Cong produced a quadruple twist, a triple toe-double toe combination, throw triple Salchow and flip as well as level-four lifts. They will look to duplicate that performance during Thursday’s free skate at worlds.
Germans Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot are sitting in second, while Russians Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov are third.
Two-time reigning world champions in pairs, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada are in seventh after the short programs. Duhamel and Radford were beaten at their last two international events.
The top U.S. pair was husband and wife duo, Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Christopher Knierim, who are in eighth place.
Competition in pairs will resume on Thursday with the free skate. Here’s a look at the leaderboard after today’s short program:
1 Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN CHN 81.23
2 Aliona SAVCHENKO / Bruno MASSOT GER 79.84
3 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 79.37
4 Xiaoyu YU / Hao ZHANG CHN 75.23
5 Natalia ZABIIAKO / Alexander ENBERT RUS 74.26
6 Liubov ILYUSHECHKINA / Dylan MOSCOVITCH CAN 73.14
7 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD CAN 72.67
8 Alexa SCIMECA KNIERIM / Chris KNIERIM USA 72.17
9 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 71.04
10 Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES FRA 70.10
11 Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE ITA 70.08
12 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU CAN 66.31
13 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV RUS 65.69
14 Tae Ok RYOM / Ju Sik KIM PRK 64.52
15 Anna DUSKOVA / Martin BIDAR CZE 63.36
16 Ekaterina ALEXANDROVSKAYA / Harley WINDSOR AUS 62.03
17 Sumire SUTO / Francis BOUDREAU-AUDET JPN 61.70
18 Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER AUT 61.01
19 Minerva Fabienne HASE / Nolan SEEGERT GER 59.76
20 Haven DENNEY / Brandon FRAZIER USA 56.23
21 Lana PETRANOVIC / Antonio SOUZA-KORDEIRU CRO 52.83
22 Goda BUTKUTE / Nikita ERMOLAEV LTU 52.49
23 Tatiana DANILOVA / Mikalai KAMIANCHUK BLR 51.79
24 Daria BEKLEMISHEVA / Mark MAGYAR HUN 45.96
25 Emilia SIMONEN / Matthew PENASSE FIN 45.49
26 Zoe JONES / Christopher BOYADJI GBR 44.33
27 Lola ESBRAT / Andrei NOVOSELOV FRA 43.78
28 Ioulia CHTCHETININA / Noah SCHERER SUI 40.50