CHONGQING, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Two-times world champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong came out the runaway leaders of pairs after a tight but fairly good short program routine at the ISU figure skating Grand Prix Cup of China here on Friday.
The 2017 and 2019 top-podium finishers of the worlds, who were narrowly edged by 0.43 points to the second place at last year's PyeongChang Winter Game, performed smoothly to Blues Deluxe except for a small stumble at the throw triple flip and earned 80.90 points.
Canada's Liubov Ilyushechkina and Charlie Bilodeau trailed on 68.98, and Peng Cheng and Jin Yang, who were crowned weeks ago at the season-opening American event, were the third with 68.50.
Another Chinese pair Tang Feiyao and Yang Yongchao finished the seventh on 61.85 out of eight pairs in total at the fourth stop of the season's Grand Prix events.
Comeback hero Yan Han led home 1-2 in the men's short program, producing a surprise by beating teammate and Olympian Jin Boyang to the second place by just one point. Italian Matteo Rizzo ranked third with further three points.
In the women's part, Russian teenage sensation Anna Shcherbakova was the ladies leader after Friday's short program outscoring Japan's Miyahara Satoko by 4.60 points.
Skating to soundtrack The Perfume, the 15-year-old Russian champion opened her routine with a double Axel and a triple flip before a triple Lutz-triple Loop combination, while she completed all her three spins on level four.
Shcherbakova, who's able to do at least two types of quadruple jump, earned 73.51 points to beat the 23-year-old Miyahara to the second place, after the latter, runner-up at the 2015 world championships, collected 68.91 with a flawed triple-triple performance.
Amber Glenn of the United States was the third-placed skater on 67.69, while China's teenage skaters Zhu Yi and Chen Hongyi finished in distant ninth and 11th respectively on their senior GP debuts.
Russian pair Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov took lead in the rhythm dance. American pair Madison Chock/Evan Bates took second in 80.34, while Canada's Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Sorensen were third in 78.41.
China's Wang Shiyue/Liu Xinyu, who were the only Asian pair qualified for free dance at the 2019 Saitama worlds, taking 15th place at last, scored 74.77 to rank fourth.
The ISU Figure Skating Grand Prix Cup of China, running through to Sunday, is the fourth stop of the ISU Grand Prix Series.