By Nick Butler at the Main Press Centre in Sochi

Russia leap on to the podium to collect the first ever team figure skating gold medal ©Toronto Star/Getty ImagesFebruary 9 - Russia won a first gold medal of Sochi 2014 this evening as their team figure skaters dominated the inaugural Olympic team competition in front of President Vladimir Putin and an enraptured home crowd. 

With the result never in doubt Russia had done enough to guarantee victory before the final ice dancing routine and eventually won by 10 points from Canada and the United States. 

Despite barely competing over the last four years, it was 31-year-old Yevgeny Plushenko who most inspired both the crowd and the team as his routine, including a quad toeloop, triple axel and double toeloop, scored a dominant 168.20 points. 

"I am very happy of course with my performance and that of our team," the Turin 2006 men's singles champion reflected.

"I tried my best in both the short programme and the long programme - I think today I would give myself a four plus.

"I'm 31 years and this means everything to me - it's so much history."

President Vladimir Putin was among those congratulating the Russian team after their victory this evening ©Getty ImagesPresident Vladimir Putin was among those congratulating Yevgeny Plushenko and the rest of the Russian team after their victory this evening ©Getty Images

If Plushenko was the king of the Russian team, then it was 15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaia who was the princess as she posted a personal best score of 141.51 points to lead the women's section and set herself up for further medals later in the Games.

"I don't know how to explain the feeling I had out there," the teenager said afterwards.

"I'm very happy to have helped win the first gold medal for Russia."

The victory was one of four Russian medals on the second day of the Games here as eight different nations secured one gold medal apiece.

This included the showpiece men's downhill event at the beginning of the day when - after the two favourites Aksel Lund Svindal and Bode Miller finished out of the medals - victory went to Austria's Matthias Mayer to secure his nation's first title in the event for 12 years.

Matthias Mayer celebrates after his downhill victory ©Getty ImagesMatthias Mayer celebrates after his downhill victory ©Getty Images

While the downhill is one of the most traditional Winter Olympic disciplines, the slopestyle snowboard, like team figure skating, is new to the programme and, despite the build up being dominated by criticism of the difficult nature of the course, once it got underway it was an unmitigated success. 

Gold went to Jamie Anderson to complete a US double of the men and women's events with silver to Enni Rukajarvi of Finland and bronze to Jenny Jones, who claimed Great Britain's first ever Olympic medal on snow. 

Elsewhere there was a second successive Dutch triumph in speed-skating, when Ireen Wust won the 3,000m, while Felix Loch won the men's luge in front of IOC President, and fellow German, Thomas Bach. 

There were also wins on day two for Switzerland's Dario Cologna in the skiathlon, Slovakia's Anastasiya Kuzmina in women's sprint biathlon and Poland's Kamil Stoch in the normal hill ski jumping.

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