Nikolay Suprunov and his top Igor Mishev retained their Acrobatics  world men's pairs title ©FIG

Russia maintained its dominant position at the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Acrobatics World Championships as it took the opening two gold medals.

A capacity crowd at Antwerp’s Lotto Arena saw Kseniia Zagoskina, Daria Chebulanka and Polina Plastinina demonstrate their invincibility in the women’s group, while no one had an answer to the gigantic Nikolay Suprunov and his top Igor Mishev in the men’s pair.

And, despite spirited efforts from China, who won bronze, and Belarus, who took silver, a score of 30.060 pointsin the final earned the Russian trio the win they wanted by more than half-a-point.

"We train really hard to make it look easy,"Zagoskina said.

"It wasn’t easy but we had higher difficulty than the others, so we could make little mistakes."

Russian women’s groups have now won nine of the past 10 World Championship titles.

Russia’s fortunes continued on a high as the 6ft 5in tall Suprunov powered his partner to their second successive World Championship gold in the men’s pair.

From their signature move - in which Mishev vaults from the floor onto Suprunov’s shoulders - the duo were untouchable, scoring 29.490 points.

"It looks good because I am very tall," Suprunov said of their favourite move.

Ri Hyo Song and Kong Yong Won of Sputh Korea took silver ahead of Britain’s Adam Upcott and Charlie Tate.

Belgium’s 2017 World Games bronze medallists Robin Casse and Kilian Goffaux saw their hopes disappear with a fall during an early balance routine.

Russia retained the women's group title at the Acrobatics World Championships in Antwerp ©FIG
Russia retained the women's group title at the Acrobatics World Championships in Antwerp ©FIG

China look set to retain their men’s group title – the only one not won by Russia at the last Championships.

Rui Liuming, a 2016 world champion, has long led his all-conquering group with charisma and style but he may now have a serious rival as 15-year-old top Jiang Heng propelled China’s second quartet through a stunning display that had large sections of the Lotto Arena crowd on their feet.

"What they did today is way beyond expectations, it was amazing," Rui said.

"We work with them, they are very good."

JiangFu Zhi, Guo Pei and Zhang Junshuo sit first in qualifying with just the combined to come, leaving Rui and his decorated team in danger of missing the final - given just one team per nation can progress.

An epic battle is also shaping up in the women’s pairs, with the pre-Championship favourites, Russia’s Daria Guryeva and Daria Kalinina recovering in style from their shaky performance in yesterday's balance exercise to post a huge 29.290 points in the dynamic.

The 2016 World Championship and 2017 World Games gold medallists lie in fourth.

The leaders from day one, Israel’s Roni Surzon and Mika Lefkovits remain in pole position and seem in no mood to give up their spot.

But it was business as usual in the mixed pairs as the Russian duo of Marina Chernova and Georgii Pataraia stretched their lead to 3.275 points with one qualifying exercise to come.

The mixed pair, women’s pair, men’s group and team World Championship titles are all due to be decided tomorrow.