Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland are on course to surpass their best ever finish at a World Figure Skating Championships after finishing ninth in the ice dance short program on Friday.
Coomes and Buckland finished tenth at last month’s Sochi Winter Olympics but have never finished higher than 13th at the worlds.
The pair are on course to do so in Japan though after scoring 61.21 points to finish in the top ten in the ice dance short program ahead of the free dance on Saturday.
European champions Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy lead the way on 69.70 points with Canadian duo Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje just 0.50 points back in second and Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France in third.
Cappellini and Lanotte were aided by the absence of defending champions and Olympic gold medallists Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the USA who did not take part.
Top-ranked Russian duo Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev were also absent after a groin injury to Soloviev forced them into a withdrawal.
© Sportsbeat 2014