Slovakia's Erik Varga and Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova, gold medallists in the Mixed Team Trap ©Getty Images

Germany’s Henri Junghaenel defeated a stellar field to earn European Games gold medal in the 50 metre rifle prone men's event here, and the second gold of the day, in the new event of the mixed team trap, went to the Slovakian pairing of Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova and world champion Erik Varga, who earned an emphatic 27-21 win over Russia’s newly crowned men’s champion Alexey Alipov and Elena Tkach.

For Varga, who took silver in yesterday’s final despite missing only one of his 15 shots, who scored the maximum, this novel competition offered a measure of revenge.

“I had a stomach problem today, so it was difficult, but I was determined to do this,” he said.

“Today was down to teamwork, and I want to thank Zuzana, who shot really well.”

While Varga outscored his counterpart in the earlier competition, she missed only one shot in the final to his two.

He added that if the match had gone to an individual shoot-off, as the bronze medal match did, Rehak Stefecekova would have been the one selected.

Varga would be happy to see the new Mixed Team format in future Olympic Games.

"Having a competition like this with men and women shooting together is something new for people to see, and it is interesting for them,” he said.

“I would have no problem if it was in the Olympics.

"Maybe it would make more people see the sport, because we are not like football or ice hockey now."

While Slovakia dominated the qualifying and their semi-final, in which they beat Spain 28-24, the Russians seemed destined to be shooting off for the bronze after San Marino held a two-shot lead over them with three to go.

But as the Russians kept their eye on the targets, their opponents fell apart and missed all three final shots, losing 24-23.

There was no escape for Russia in the final however, as the Slovak pairing got off to a pulverising start, scoring 10 out of 10 as their opponents missed five.

Given the form the Slovak pair had shown all day, recovery from that position was never going to be likely, and the Slovaks arrived at their final six shots requiring just one to win. Varga did the honours..

San Marino picked themselves up to win the bronze play-off with Spain in circumstances as dramatic as their semi-final defeat.

After finishing at 27-27, both teams elected to use only their men – who had shot more consistently than their counterparts – in the sudden-death decider.

Up stepped Spain’s Alberto Fernandez – and missed.

Manuel Mancini needed one shot for a medal, and there were no mistakes this time.

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Henri Junghaenel of Germany wins gold in the 50m Rifle Prone Men competition to earn his country a place at the Rio Olympics ©Getty Images

Junghaenel, a 27-year-old from Leipzig, has got his sights on a first Olympics after defeating a field that included Russia’s world record holder Sergey Kamenskiy and the 2012 Olympic champion from Belarus, Sergei Martynov.

And after securing his country a quota place at Rio 2016 he is determined to fill it himself, four years after he did the same but then missed out on eventual selection in London.

“These would be my first Olympics,” he said.

"I won a quota place for London 2012, but I didn't end up getting it - I messed up a second qualifier.

"But winning a gold at the first European Games - I hope that's a good argument for a place for Rio.”

Junghaenel qualified second of eight for the final, behind Martynof, and eventually won with a score of 208.5, consolidating his narrow lead over Italy’s Marco de Nicolo with a far superior last score.

Martynof took bronze with 186.3.

Asked if he was surprised that Russia’s world record holder Sergey Kamenskiy failed to reach the final, only placing 23rd in the qualifiers, he responded: “I was not that surprised, because there are many talented shooters here and the competition is always very tight.

“A lot of people had the chance to make the final.

“Of course we had the Olympic champion there – but even he has not won any World Cup events this year.”

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