Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara won Japan's maiden pairs figure skating world championship title Thursday, while Shoma Uno made an impressive start to his men's title defense at Saitama Super Arena near Tokyo.
After topping Wednesday's short program, Miura and Kihara scored 141.44 to place second in the free skate and first overall with a total of 222.16 on Day 2 of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships.
They finished 4.68 ahead of American rivals Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, with Italy's Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii totaling 208.08 for bronze.
Last year's champions Knierim and Frazier received the top free skate score of 142.84 but could not overhaul the Japanese duo, who held a 6.08-point lead after their short program earned a personal-best 80.72 -- the highest for the segment by any pair this season.
The victory capped a breakthrough season for the 21-year-old Miura and 30-year-old Kihara, who were world championship runners-up last year. They took gold at December's Grand Prix Final and followed up by winning the Four Continents Championship last month.
"I'm incredibly happy to win the world championship in our home country," Kihara said. "We had some weaknesses in our free skate this season, so I want to fix those as much as possible next season."
"I felt relieved as all I had been thinking about was hoping to win," Miura said.
Later in the day, Uno skated flawlessly to earn this season's highest short program score of 104.63 points as he moved into first place ahead of Saturday's free skate.
American 18-year-old sensation Ilia Malinin was second with a personal-best 100.38, while South Korea's Cha Jun Hwan scored 99.64 for third place.
Uno hurt his right ankle during the previous day's practice, but he showed no signs of trouble as he landed a quadruple flip, quad toe loop-double toe loop combination and triple axel in a performance that left him elated.
"It's been a long time since I've felt such emotion during a competition. I was overwhelmed with joy," said Uno, who won all four of his previous competitions this season. "From here, I'll make adjustments so I don't drop off."
Among the other Japanese skaters, Kazuki Tomono finished in seventh place with 92.68 points, while Sota Yamamoto was 17th on 75.48.