Russian ice dancers Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov made the most of the absence of four-time winners Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron to take the rhythm dance programme at the world figure skating championships on Friday.
The European gold medallists scored 88.15 points skating to "Singin' in the Rain".
"We are quite satisfied with our performance, we were well prepared. In general, we showed what we can do, everything was clean enough, with our soul, easy enough," said Katsalapov.
"We need to have a good rest today, sleep well, have a good training session, check again if everything is in place, the whole programme, and go out and skate (in free dance) with pleasure."
American competitors Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (86.05 points) and Madison Chock and Evan Bates (85.15) filled out the top three.
Papadakis and Cizeron opted out of the championships in order to focus on their preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.