Yevgenia Medvedeva scored 81.06 points in the team event short program, the highest short program score ever recorded under the current system.
Medvedeva earned the Olympic Athletes from Russia 10 points, a much needed addition to their team overall score if they want to retain their gold medal from the team event four years ago.
Following Medvedeva was 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner, who skated for Italy and earned the team nine points. 2017 World Championships silver medalist Kaetlyn Osmond placed third to bring Canada eight points.
Bradie Tennell skated a clean short program – which included a triple Lutz, triple toe combination, a triple loop and a double Axel – to finish fifth in the phase and earn Team USA six points.
Tennell scored just 0.01 points behind Satoko Miyahara of Japan, making up the difference between seven and six points earned for the U.S.
Tennell turned 20 at the end of January, just after she won her first U.S. national championship title.
On Friday, Tennell participated in the celebrations and called it the “coolest night” of her life.
The teams that were eliminated after each discipline performed their short programs:
China, Germany, Israel, South Korea, and France
Hot on their heels, Maia and Alex Shibutani from Team USA finished second using a medley of Perez Prado songs. The Shibutanis, a brother and sister team, skipped out on Friday’s Opening Ceremony in order to prepare for their performance in the team event.
Through the short dance phase, Canada leads the rest of the field in the team event with 27 points. Team USA is in second place with 23 points. The next closest team, made up from Olympic Athletes from Russia, tallied 21 points.
After Wednesday night’s team event – which included performances from Nathan Chen married pairs team Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim – the United States sat in second place behind Canada.
One highlight from the short dance included not one, but two ice dance teams incorporating the Grammy-nominated smash hit “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. South Korea’s Yura Min and Alexander Gamelin as well as China’s Wang Shiyue and Liu Xinyu both used the tune.
After the ladies’ short program in the team event, the field is reduced to just five countries. The pairs’ free skate portion of the team event continues Saturday night, with the Knierims representing the United States.
You can also watch live practice rink footage, below.