March 1 - A 2013 world-leading performance of 7.49sec by Russia's "Siberian Express" Sergey Shubenko in the men's 60 metres hurdles, and a European rankings-leading effort and Turkish record of 7.89 in the women's 60m hurdles by Nevin Yanit brought the first full day of action here at the European Athletics Indoor Championships to a thrilling conclusion.
So close was Shubenko's race with Paolo Dal Molin of Italy that neither man was sure where he had finished in the aftermath of the race until it emerged that the European outdoor champion had added the indoor version to his list of honours by virtue of 0.02sec, with Dal Molin taking silver in a national record of 7.51, 0.02 ahead of France's Pascal Martinot Lagarde.
Yanit finished 0.05 ahead of Alina Talay of Belarus, whose 7.94 equalled her personal best, with Veronica Borsi of Italy being credited with the same time as she took bronze just 0.01 ahead of Ireland's Derval O'Rourke.
There had been speculation that the Scandinavium Arena's specially constructed track, three and a half metres above a surface normally given over to ice hockey, would prove fast.
The speculation was clearly well informed.
Ten minutes before Lagarde's bronze, there had been another success for France as Antoinette Nana Djimou had retained her pentathlon title by a margin of six points from the athlete who had finished almost six seconds and virtually the length of the home straight ahead of her in the concluding 800 metres, Yana Maksimava of Belarus.
The totals were 4,666 to 4,658, with Hanna Melnychenko taking bronze with 4,608.
Russia's Yekaterina Bolshova, who leads this year's world rankings with 4,851, had to drop out after the third event.
The first gold medal of these Championships went to Serbia's Asmir Kolasinac, who earned his country's first European indoor medal, never mind gold, with an outstanding sequence which produced the four furthest efforts of the shot put final, the best of which was a season's best of 20.62 metres.
All eyes were on home runner Abeba Aregawi during the second of the women's 1500m heats, and the 22-year-old naturalised Ethiopian, who was only cleared to compete for Sweden in December and came within 0.12sec of the world indoor record with her victory in Stockholm on February 21, did not disappoint.
Her winning time of 4min 11.38sec was well shy of the 3:58.40 she had produced just over a week earlier, but it more than sufficed here to guarantee her a place in tomorrow's final.
Natalia Rodriguez of Spain was next fastest qualifier with 4:12.25, ahead of Britain's Laura Muir, who achieved a personal best of 4:12.36 in holding off Russia's Yelena Soboleva, whose world indoor record still stands despite all her results from 2007 to April 2011 being annulled for a doping infraction.
Jimmy Vicaut of France, the European 100m silver medallist, was the fastest qualifier in the men's 60m heats, clocking 6.55 as he finished 0.10 clear of Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, who was equal sixth fastest overall with Britain's Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.
Italy's Michael Tumi was second fastest on the night in 6.59, with Britain's James Dasaolu third in 6.62.
There was no progression, however, for the 34-year-old Briton who won this title four years ago, Dwain Chambers, who missed the cut by one place and 0.02.
Earlier in the day, Britain's male and female 400m runners had offered evidence of their ambition in the individual and relay events as all six entrants progressed from the heats.
Perri Shakes-Drayton and Eilidh Child won their opening races with ease, recording 51.70 and 52.05 respectively, the two fastest times of the day.
And Shana Cox joined them in Saturday's semi-finals as one of the fastest losers in 52.99.
But the Britons will clearly not have it all their own way as the Czech Republic's defending champion Denisa Rosolova, European outdoor silver medallist in the 400m hurdles, and Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medallist Zuzana Hejnova also moved through impressively, Rosolova following Child home in a season's best of 52.50, and Hejnova easing to victory in the final heat in 53.20.
Pavel Maslak of the Czech Republic was fastest qualifier in the men's 400m, his 46.54leaving him ahead of Russia's Pavel Trenkhin with 46.65.
But as in the women's event, the British gave evidence of their likely challenge ah s Nigel Levine in 46.68, Michael Bingham 46.92 and Richard Strachan 46.96 filled the next three qualifying positions.
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