Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China topped the pairs short program on Wednesday at the World Figure Skating Championships 2017.
The Chinese pair, silver medalists last year, scored 81.23 points.
German pair Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot finished second with 79.84 while Russians Evgenia Tarasova and Valdimir Morozov on third with 79.37 points.
The other Chinese pair Duo Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang placed fourth with 75.23 points.
The defending champions, Canadian pair Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, were unexpectedly listed at the 7th place.
The World Figure Skating Championships 2017 is held at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki. A total of 193 players from 36 members of the International Skating Union have been qualified for the championships.