The Chinese pair, which earned silver at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, scored 84.41 points, breaking their own record for a short program score that they set in the team event earlier in the Olympics. They performed to orchestral music from the movie "Mission: Impossible 2."
Their rivals, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia, coached in part by the controversial Eteri Tutberidze, headed into the free skate in second place, just 0.16 points behind the Chinese pair.
Russia pairs Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, and Aleksandra Boykova and Dmitriy Kozlovskiy, were in third and fourth places.
Watch Sui Wenjing and Han Chan's short program
U.S. pair Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier were sitting in sixth place with a score of 74.23 after the short program while their teammates Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc were in seventh with a score of 74.13.
By stepping onto the ice, LeDuc became the first nonbinary American athlete to compete at the Winter Games.
Watch Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc's short program
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Beijing Olympic Games
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