Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Yuzuru Hanyu put Japan in front for the new team figure skating competition at the 2014 Olympics.
Hanyu's score of 97.98 topped Russia's Yevgeny Plushenko and Canada's Patrick Chan for the men's segment -- the first of eight segments that comprise the new event.
The 10-nation competition features one man, one woman, one pairs duo and one dance team. Each individual skater and team will perform a short program and the best score will earn 10 points for that nation with nine points going to the second-best score, and so on.
Hanyu gave Japan 10 points, while Plushenko's effort gave Russia nine and Chan secured eight for Canada. American Jeremy Abbott finished seventh Thursday to give the U.S. entry four points.
After the four short programs for each nation, the field will be trimmed to the best five and the free skate for each of those five will help determine the medals.
The gold will go to the nation that has best cumulative score from the eight segments.
Pairs short programs will also be skated Thursday. Women's and ice dancing short programs are scheduled for Saturday, as is the pairs free skate. The men's, women's and ice dancing free skates are slated for Sunday, when medals will be awarded.