World champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov stormed into the lead of the Olympic figure skating pairs competition on Tuesday, posting a world record score in the short program.
The Russians go into pole position for a second gold medal after helping their country to team gold on Saturday night, scoring 84.17 points with their elegant, classical routine.
Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, the only pair to have beaten Volosozhar and Trankov in the last two years, performed a dazzling short skate to music from "The Pink Panther," securing the veteran German bronze medalists from Vancouver a total of 79.64 and second place.
Russia's No. 2 pair, Ksenia Stolbova and Fyodor Klimov, came in third after scoring 75.21, while the other Russian duo, Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov, came in eight place after scoring 69.66.
The deciding pairs free skate is Wednesday.
In the team figure skating gold that was won by Russia on Sunday, the pairs events were won by Volosozhar and Trankov in the short program and their replacements for the free skate, Stolbova and Klimov.
Trankov and Volosozhar were untouchable for nearly two years but were defeated by Savchenko and Szolkowy in the Grand Prix finals before a unconvincing performance in January's European championships.