Several swimming medals were decided on the opening day of the Tbilisi 2015 European Youth Olympic Festival ©Tbilisi 2015

Moldova’s Alexei Sancov became the first gold medallist at the Tbilisi 2015 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF), coming out on top in the boy’s 200 metres freestyle swimming event.

The 16-year-old’s time of 1min 49.20sec saw him finish ahead of Germany’s Johannes Hintze and Hungary’s Richard Marton in second and third respectively.

Hungary’s Ajna Evelin Kesely was the next swimmer to top the podium, winning the girl’s 200m butterfly with a time of 2:15.04.

Great Britain’s Emily Louise Large was second, followed by Spain’s Ariadna Escribano in third.

“It feels really good and I’m so happy," said Large, a 14-year-old from Newcastle. 

"I didn’t really expect that to be honest.

“I was going into the final third fastest but second, third and fourth were all within one second of each other so I wasn’t confident of a medal.

"But then to get it was amazing."

Russia won the boy’s and girl’s 4x100m relays, while there was also a gold medal for Romania’s Maria Klaudia Gadea, who overcame Britain’s Rebecca Saton in a closely-fought 200m individual complex final.  

The Netherlands’ Jasmijn Bakker (centre) won the girl's 2,000m steeplechase
The Netherlands’ Jasmijn Bakker (centre) won the girl's 2,000m steeplechase ©Tbilisi 2015

Meanwhile in athletics, Austria’s Stefan Schmid won gold in the boy's 2,000m steeplechase, covering the distance in 6:10.03.

The silver medal went to Slovenia’s Matevz Cimermancic with France’s Timothee Mischler getting his hands on bronze. 

In the equivalent girl’s event, The Netherlands’ Jasmijn Bakker set the gold standard. 

As for tennis, Georgian players all succeeded in qualifying for the next round on home soil. 

Ana Makatsaria began the series of victories, beating Azerbaijan’s Fidana Khalizade 6-3, 6-0, before Nikoloz Davlianidze and Ana Shanidze won their respective boy’s and girl’s singles matches.

Turkey’s girl's volleyball team won an entertaining encounter with Italy, but their boy's team failed to repeat the success, losing 3-0 to Czech Republic.

The highlight on the opening day of handball action was Norway’s meeting with fellow gold medal hopefuls Montenegro in the girl’s competition as the former came away with a 22-20 win.

Bosnia-Herzegovina, one of the favourites in the men’s basketball competition, gained a significant 87-61 win against Latvia.

Serbia, another clear contender for the gold medal, won their match against Italy, 80-62.

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