The World Figure Skating Championships have opened in Moscow. Russia is hosting the event for the first time since 1903.

Russian President Vladimir Putin assisted at the official opening ceremony Sunday at Moscow's Luzhniki Sports Palace. During the six days of competition, Russians are favored to win all four events.

Yevgeny Plushenko is the defending men's champion. He opens his bid for a fourth world title in Monday's men's qualifiers. Later, two-time world pairs champions Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo of China will bid to reclaim their title from Russians Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin.

Skaters will have to contend with the sport's new scoring system, being used for the first time at the competition. The event features 187 participants representing 45 nations.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.