Russia's Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin finished top of the short dance segment of the ice dance competition on the opening day of the International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Figure Skating World Championships in Sofia.
Skoptcova and Aleshin, winners of this year's Junior Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, showed excellent form once again as they recorded a score of 66.44 points at the Arena Armeec.
The Russian pair lead at the halfway stage of the ice dance event ahead of Canada's Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha.
Lajoie and Lagha produced a performance which was rewarded with a total of 62.39 points.
Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov, also of Russia, occupy third place having scored 61.29.
Russia were the dominant nation as three of their pairings sit in the top four, with Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko just outside of the medals as it stands after their ice dance routine scored 60.95 points.
The top 20 duos progress to the free dance portion of the ice dance event, scheduled to be held on Friday (March 9).
The Bulgarian capital previously welcomed the sport's best young talent in 2001, 2008, 2009 and 2014.
A total of 86 skaters from 45 countries are competing this time around.