Olympics: Russia set early marker, Miller turns back clock
SOCHI, Russia (AFP) - Russia's highly-vaunted figure skaters rode a patriotic wave to lay down a formidable marker at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Thursday, just hours before the official opening of one of the most politically-charged Games in history.
Yevgeny Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic figure skating champion, justified his controversial selection as the Russian veteran helped the hosts lead the new team competition.
Plushenko, 31, placed second in the men's short programme in a three-quarter full Iceberg Skating Palace behind inspired Japanese 19-year-old Yuzura Hanyu.
World champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov then put Russia top when they later waltzed to the lead in the pairs event.