Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu leads the senior men short programme at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating final ©Getty Images

The International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating and ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating finals began in Marseille today with the junior short dance, junior men, junior pairs, junior ladies, pairs and men’s short programmes.

The events feature the top six skaters in each category from the past season.

Sochi 2014 singles Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu gave a stellar performance to lead the men's short programme after the opening day of action at the AccorHotels Arena.

Japanese star Hanyu, the three-time Grand Prix final champion, was impressive in style and execution with an error-free routine.

Hanyu opened with a quadruple jump followed by a quadruple-triple, scoring 106.53 points, just four short of the world record score he achieved a year ago.

"I have never connected to an audience like this since I was born, or since I started skating, but this programme feels like a concert, like it's live," said an elated Hanyu.

The 21-year-old leads Canada's Patrick Chan going into Saturday's (December 10) free programme final while Hanyu's training partner, reigning two-time world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain, trails in third.

In the senior pairs competition today, favourites Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada could only manage third after the two-time world champions fell on a throw triple axel during their short programme performance.

The Russian pair of Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov currently lead on 78.60.

They lie ahead of the Chinese duo of Yu Xiaoyu and Zhang Hao who sit in second on 75.34.

Meanwhile in the junior's short dance competition Russia's Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd captured the lead. 

The United States' pairs of Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons and Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter follow in second and third respectively.

Loboda and Drozd set a new personal best with 67.58 points.

Russia's Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov lead the senior pair short programme after day one ©Getty Images
Russia's Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov lead the senior pair short programme after day one ©Getty Images

“We are very pleased with how we skated the short dance today," said Drozd.

"We made some changes and they paid off.

"This time we came to win.

"After winning silver twice, it is now time for us to get on the top of the podium, in our last junior final."

Further Russian dominance followed as Dmitri Aliev led a clean sweep in the junior men’s short programme with his teammates Alexander Samarin and Roman Savosin coming in second and third.

Aliev’s performance gave the 2015 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medallist a new personal best of 81.37 points.

Samarin also scored a personal best of 81.08 points while Savosin completed his routine to earn 72.98 points.

Anastasia Mishina and Vladislav Mirzoev continued Russian success as they took the lead in the junior pairs short programme.

The Czech Republic’s Anna Duskova and Martin Bidar placed second followed by another Russian pair in Alina Ustimkina and Nikita Volodin.

Completing a scintillating day for Russia was Alina Zagitova who took the initiative in the junior women's short programme.

Kaori Sakamoto of Japan finished second while Russia’s Anastasiia Gubanova is currently in third place.

The junior free dance, junior ladies free skating, short dance, pairs free skating and ladies short programme take centre stage tomorrow (December 9).

Action in the junior men, junior pairs free skating, free dance and ladies and men’s free skating competitions then bring the event to a close on Saturday (December 10).