Damir Martin claimed a second successive men's single sculls title ©Getty Images

Great Britain showed ominous form ahead of Rio 2016 by claiming four golds in a total of seven medals at the European Championships in Brandenburg today, as Czech favourites struggled in the two single sculling finals.

Austria's Magdalena Lobnig pulled clear of a strong field to win the women's singles, getting the better of Latvia's Elza Gulbe, in second, and Ireland's third placed finisher Sanita Puspure.

Belarus' 43-year-old two-time Olympic and six-time world champion Ekaterina Karsten was fourth, with Czech Republic's Olympic champion and world silver medallist Miroslava Knapková a lowly sixth.

There was also Czech disappointment in the corresponding men's race as world champion Ondrej Synek could only place third in a race led from start to finish by Croatia's defending champion Damir Martin.

Martin, who has never won an Olympic or World Championship single sculls medal but has claimed Olympic silver and two world crowns as part of a quadruple sculls crew, finished ahead of Lithuania's Mindaugas Griskonis.

Britain remain on track for a fifth successive coxless four Olympic title after a new look quartet of Alex Gregory, Mohamed Sbihi, George Nash and Constantine Louloudis won their first international outing together.

Crews from Belarus and France finished second and third. 

Olympic champions Heather Stanning and Helen Glover gained the most predictable victory of the day in the women's coxless pair, beating German and Romanian rivals to add to their world and European titles last year.

Heather Stanning and Helen Glover were among four British winners ©Getty Images
Heather Stanning and Helen Glover were among four British winners ©Getty Images

A British women's eight overcame The Netherlands and Russia to take gold while Sam Scrimgeour and Joel Cassells claimed the lightweight pairs spoils over Denmark and Spain.

Hosts Germany finished second on the medals table with three golds, including one for the flagship men's eight.

The home crew finished ahead of Russia and Britain.

Annekatrin Thiele, Carina Baer, Marie-Catherine Arnold and Lisa Schmidla combined to beat Poland and Ukraine to the women's quad sculls title, while Anja Noske won the non-Olympic lightweight single sculls.

Rungeaja Holmegaard of Denmark was second and Elisabeth Werner of The Netherlands third.

Five hundred athletes spanning 34 countries competed, with 23 nations gaining medals.

Other winners included Lucas Tramer, Simon Schuerch, Simon Niepmann and Mario Gyr of Switzerland, who beat Britain and Germany to men's lightweight coxless four gold.

Martin and Valent Sinkovic claimed a second Croatian gold by winning the men's double sculls.

Marcel Hacker and Stephan Krueger of Germany were second, with Lithuania's Rolandas Mascinskas and Saulius Ritter second and third.

Andrei Jamsa, Allar Raja, Tonu Endrekson and Kaspar Taimsoo of Estonia beat Lithuanian and Russian rivals in the men's quad sculls event.