Aleksandra Kachurkina won the women's 1,500m speed skating today at the 2017 Winter Universiade ©Almaty 2017

Russia's Aleksandra Kachurkina and Davide Ghiotto of Italy won the first speed skating gold medals of the 2017 Winter Universiade.

The Russian completed the women's 1,500 metres course here at the stunning Medeu High-mountain Ice Rink in a time of 2 min 06.20 sec.

Nana Takahashi of Japan led the race before Kachurkina began her attempt late on and went on to steal victory right at the end.

Takahashi's time of 2:06.35 was good enough to see her finish second though and secure the silver medal.

Kazakhstan's Yekaterina Aidova, buoyed by the home support, rounded out the podium in 2:06.58.

Poland's Andzelika Wojcik, who led for most of the competition, finished back in fifth place.

Italy's Davide Ghiotto, centre, was victorious in the men’s 5,000m race ©Almaty 2017
Italy's Davide Ghiotto, centre, was victorious in the men’s 5,000m race ©Almaty 2017

Ghiotto then took the gold medal in the men’s 5,000m after posting a winning time of 6:51.64.

Japan's Seitaro Ichinohe finished second, 1.30 seconds behind in 6:52.94, while Linus Heidegger of Austria completed the top three in 6:55.46.

The top three were way ahead of the rest of the field in terms of speed.

Fourth place Masahito Obayashi finished just under 10 seconds behind the medallists, underlining their quality.

Ronald Marinus Ligtenberg of The Netherlands was the first athlete to take to the ice in the men’s event and led for a large part of the race with his time of 7:18.13.

He was eventually displaced by Aleksandr Razorenov of Russia, who finished eighth overall while Ligtenberg finished in 12th.