China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong took the lead in the pairs figure skating event at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Wednesday following the completion of the short program.

Sui and Han put on a strong performance at Gangneung Ice Arena to earn a score of 82-point-39 and top the rankings ahead of the second-placed Olympic Athletes from Russia team.  

South Korea's team of Kim Kyu-eun and Kam Kang-chan did not progress to the free program after they finished last out of the 22 competing teams. Only the top 16 teams advance to Thursday’s free program.

However, the North Korean duo of Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik did qualify for the next stage of the competition as they achieved a personal best score of 69-point-40 points to place eleventh.

The skaters were the only North Koreans to qualify for the PyeongChang Games on merit, with the other athletes given wildcard entries to the competition.