Russia's Ekaterina Borisova and Dmitry Sopot claimed gold in the pairs event ©YIS/IOC

Russian pair Ekaterina Borisova and Dmitry Sopot faced an agonising delay before they could celebrate Winter Youth Olympic Games pairs skating gold here today.

Their routine to Maurice Jarre's memorable score from Lawrence of Arabia earned them top marks in the free programme but then they had to wait while overnight leaders Ana Duskova and Martin Bidar of the Czech Republic skated.

Borisova and Sopot finished with a score of 168.66 to clinch the Winter Youth Olympic Games title ahead of the Czech pair, who ended the competition on 166.13.

“We were much more nervous than when we went on to the ice ourselves," the Russians said.

"We were standing watching everything they did because we did not know what to expect from our competitors.

"When we saw the marks we could take a deep breath and relax."

Sopot could have a double cause for celebration as he will sit his final academic exams next month after the World Junior Championships.

"We train in two sessions of three hours a day," he said.

"We do not forget about about our work for school, we try to fit in three hours a day but we have to plan it."

They will be too young for Pyeongchang in 2018 but they have set their sights on the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov won gold for Russia at the last Games here in 1994.

Sota Yamamoto produced a superb display to win the men's free skating competition
Sota Yamamoto produced a superb display to win the men's free skating competition ©YIS/IOC

"That is actually our goal to be mentioned in the same breath," the duo said.

In the men's free individual competition, Japan's Sota Yamamoto claimed gold with a score of 215.52.

Yamamoto led from the short programme, but that carried problems of its own for the Japanese youngster.

"I had a lot of pressure and going last just made it worse," the Japanese skater said.

"I was watching and checking up on the points of all the others.

"There were a lot of skaters who made mistakes in the short programme and I had to put that out of my mind.

"My mum sent me a message by phone to say they are watching back home in Japan even though it is very late at night - they were pretty proud."

Latvia's Deniss Vasiljevs took silver on 214.42, and the medal ceremony would have brought back memories for his coach Alexei Urmanov, who won Olympic gold in the same arena at the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer 22 years ago.

Dmitri Aliev of Russia edged out Canada's Roman Sadovsky for the bronze after he recorded a total of 209.77.