Hosts Russia won the European Team Championships Super League title for the fourth time in the six stagings of the competition in Cheboksary on a day when five more event records were broken.
Their total of 368.5 points left them clear of 2014 winners Germany on 346.5, France 319.5, Poland 317 and Britain 291.
Home long jumper Darya Klishina was one of those to set history with her effort of 6.95 metres, and four other Russian victors contributed to a result which will have cheered a home Federation embattled by the doping allegations that have been made in the past year.
Sergey Shubenkov won the 110 metres hurdles in 13.22sec, Anna Schagina the 1500m in 4min 15.22sec, Mariya Kuchina too victory a top quality high jump in 1.99m and the women’s 400m relay team were victorious in 3:24.98.
Apart from Klishina, those who contributed Championship records were Germany’s Christina Schwanitz in the women’s shot put with 19.82m, Italy’s Giordano Benedetti in the 800m in 1:45.11, Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk in the hammer with 78.28m and the French men’s 400m relay team in 3:00.47.
Sweden, Finland and Norway were relegated.
Renaud Lavillenie, the International Association of Athletics Federations’ Athlete of the Year, won the pole vault in 5.85, but only on countback from the man who took the world title ahead of him in Moscow two years ago, Raphael Holzdeppe.
Beginning the afternoon on 181 points, five behind leaders Russia, Germany knew they had to make a positive start and Richard Ringer fitted that bill as he won the 3,000m for the second year in a row.
Germany went briefly back to the top of the table after the finale of the men’s discus.
Poland’s Robert Urbanek won with 63.03m, but the last effort of Germany’s Martin Wierig’s made a big difference as he secured second spot and 11 points with 60.23m in an event to forget for Russia’s Gleb Sidorchenko, who was sixth with 58.21m.
But Shubenkov’s 110m hurdles win, beating France’s Pascal Martinet-Lagarde, put Russia back on top.
Benedetti’s Championship record in the 800m erased the mark held by Russia’s new head coach Yuriy Borzakovskiy with 1:45.41 from 2010.
It looked like victory would go to France’s Pierre-Ambrose Bosse but Benedetti came through to snatch the win in 1:45.11.
As the Championships entered their final stages, the last individual track event was the men’s 3,000m steeplechase and suddenly the title was heading towards Russia.
The race itself was won by Poland’s Krystian Zalewski in 8:37.51 but in second for the host nation was Nikolay Chavkin in 8:39.39.
Then came Klishina’s flourish in the long jump with her championship record of 6.95m, breaking the 6.90m mark set by Germany’s Malaika Mihambo last year.
Russia now led with 325.5 from Germany with 313 and France with 292.5 and that grew as the Russian 4x400m relay quartet of Alena Mamina, Kseniya Zadorina, Kseniya Ryzhova and Mariya Mikhailyuk won in a European leading time of 3:24.98.
When Kuchina was confirmed as the high jump winner, the match result was secured before the final event, the men’s 4x400m relay.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Inside the Games.