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Olympic notebook: Russians shine in team skating

Thrilling their countrymen on the first day of competition at the Sochi Olympics, Russia took the lead after the pairs and men’s short programs in the new event of team figure skating.

Three-time Olympic medalist Evgeni Plushenko finished second to Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu in the men’s portion Thursday night, then world champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov convincingly won the pairs.

Miller tops downhill

American Bode Miller clocked 2 minutes, 7.75 seconds down the Rosa Khutor course to lead the men’s opening downhill training session in Krasnaya Polyana.

Patrick Kueng of Switzerland was second, a slim 0.03 seconds behind. Matthias Mayer of Austria was third, 0.17 behind.

• Anna Fenninger of Austria turned in the fastest time in a women’s Olympic downhill training run that had to be halted so workers could alter a harrowing jump near the finish.

Fenninger finished in 1 minute, 41.73 seconds, 0.21 seconds ahead of Fraenzi Aufdenblatten of Switzerland. American Julia Mancuso was third.

Kearney cruises

American defending champion Hannah Kearney cruised through qualifying in women’s moguls, posting a score of 23.05, well clear of Canada’s Chloe Dufour-Lapointe for the top spot.

Canadian Max Parrot cruised through men’s slopestyle qualifying, posting a score of 97.50.

Parrot, Roope Tonteri of Finland and Norway’s Staale Sandbech led a group of eight riders who advanced directly to Saturday’s finals.

Jamaican gear shows up

After their equipment was delayed in arriving to the Sochi Games, driver Winston Watts and his Jamaican Olympic bobsled team got in their first two runs down the Sanki Sliding Center track in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. The team’s luggage and the expensive runners for their two-man sled didn’t arrive on the team’s flight to Russia.