Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford sit in second place after the pairs short program Tuesday at the world figure skating championships in Saitama, Japan.

Duhamel, from Lively, Ont,. and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont., scored a season's best 77.01, putting them behind German pair Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy who led with a score of 79.02.

Olympic silver medallists Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov of Russia placed third with 76.15.

Kirsten Moore-Towers, from St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan​ Moscovitch, from Waterloo, Ont., placed sixth with a score of 69.31.

Paige Lawrence of Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask.​, scored 59.84​ for 12th.

The top 16 pairs qualified for Wednesday's free program (CBCSports.ca, 10:30 p.m. ET).

In the men's event, Tatsuki Machida of Japan upstaged compatriot and Olympic gold medallist Yuzuru Hanyu on Wednesday to finish first in the short program.

Machida, who was fifth at last month's Sochi Games, hit all his jumps and scored a career-high 98.21 points to finish ahead of Javier Fernandez of Spain, who had 96.42 points.

Hanyu, who is looking to add a world title to the gold he won in Sochi, fell on the opening quad toeloop and finished with 91.24 points for third place.

Canadians Kevin Reynolds, Nam Nguyen and Elladj Balde were 15th, 16th and 22nd, respectively.

With files from The Associated Press