A less than heavenly group lift ended Team Paradise’s hopes of a third consecutive title at the International Skating Union’s World Synchronized Skating Championships in Stockholm on a night when Team Marigold Ice Unity of Finland claimed their fifth world title.
To home delight, silver went to six-times world champions Team Surprise of Sweden, their first podium finish since they were world champions in 2012.
So Russia’s defending champions, overnight leaders after the short programme, had to settle for the bronze medal in the Ericsson Globe Arena.
Team Paradise had started well with a strong pair spin into their programme to Age of Heroes by Balas Havasi, but their ambitions were diminished when they struggled with the second group lift, with one group of skaters aborting the lift.
"Today we did some mistakes but all bad experiences will be good in the future for us," said Team Paradise captain Elya Matveeva.
"We will go back and work harder.
"Unfortunately synchronised skating in our country is not popular.
"Our team is trying to development the sport in our country and we hope in the future all Russian people will have fun like in Finland and Sweden."
The team from Saint Petersburg finished fourth in the concluding free skating with 124.92 points and finshed with 200.97 overall.
Marigold Ice Unity, third overnight, came out with a technically demanding and entertaining free skating named "Splash!" that featured music from Sea World water-themed shows.
"We want to thank all the Swedish people that made this competition amazing," said the team’s captain Camilla Sundgren.
"We have never skated in front of such an amazing crowd.
"We skated so calmly it was so wonderful."
The now five-time world champions - who previously won in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2014 - scored 136.41 points for the free skating and totalled 209.02.
Team Surprise’s original routine, entitled "Mother Nature", was highlighted by a level-four rotating wheel, group lift and smooth intersections.
The crowd was with the team from the first second and the home team earned 135.16 points to remain second on 207.99.
With six world titles and a total of 12 medals, the Swedes are the most decorated synchronised skating team.
"We enjoyed the skate we had today and we worked hard for this," said their captain Nathalie Lindqvist.
"And today we skated with our hearts.
"We have a strong culture in Sweden in synchro, but we hope we can be like role models and inspire young people."