Liudmyla Luzan, right, and Valeriia Tereta, left, won Ukraine's first gold of the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games ©Kraków-Małopolska 2023

Ukraine won two canoe sprint golds here to help the nation top the medals table at the end of the first day at the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games.

Liudmyla Luzan and Valeriia Tereta provided Ukraine's first gold in the women's C2 500 metres, clocking 1min 58.233sec to beat Spain's Antía Jácome and María Corbera by 0.273sec and Hungary's Giada Bragato and Bianka Nagy by 0.930.

"We are very happy that in such a difficult time, when the war is going on in Ukraine, we achieved such high result," Luzan said afterwards.

"It is very important to show that we, Ukrainians, are strong nation and independent state, we are fighting for freedom and victory."

The pair were followed in their success by Oleh Kukharyk and Ihor Trunov in the men's K2 500m, their time of 1:28.928 beating the 1:29.825 from Germany's Felix Frank and Martin Hiller and 1:29.855 from Lithuania's Mindaugas Maldonis and Andrej Olijnik.

Gabriele Casadei and Carlo Tacchini of Italy were the first canoe sprint winners of the day in a closely-fought men's C2 500m final in 1:40.168, with Spain's world champions Cayetano Garcia and Pablo Martinez Estevez taking silver and Poland's Aleksander Kitewski and Norman Zezula bronze.

The sport did provide the host nation with their first gold medal of the Games thanks to Karolina Naja, Anna Puławska, Adrianna Kąkol and Dominika Putto, who dominated the women's K4 500m final in 1:31.701.

Germany were second in 1:32.619 and Denmark third in 1:33.656.

Ukraine's other gold medals came in diving and karate.

Kseniya Baylo, Danylo Konovalov, Anna Pysmenska and Oleksiy Sereda dominated the mixed team 3m/10m event at the Rzeszów Diving Arena, scoring 438.30 points with Italy and Spain a distant second and third.

Anzhelika Terliuga took the other Ukrainian gold in the women's under-55 kilograms kumite, beating the Olympic champion Ivet Goranova of Bulgaria 2-0 at the Bielsko-Biała Arena.

The first gold of Kraków-Małopolska 2023 went to Italy through Giorgio Minisini and Lucrezia Ruggiero in the inaugural mixed duet technical artistic swimming event at the Oświęcim Aquatics Centre, notching 242.3599.

Austrian sisters Eirini-Marina Alexandri and her sister Anna-Maria Alexandri were similarly dominant in the duet technical event to claim gold.

Three medal events were held in shooting today at the Wrocław Shooting Centre, with the mixed team 10m air rifle won 17-7 by Hungary's Zalán Pekler and Eszter Mészáros against Spain's Spain's Paula Grande Martínez and Jesús Oviedo Berenguer, women's 10m air pistol won by home favourite Klaudia Breś and men's 10m air pistol gold going to Turkey's İsmail Keleş.

Italy's Giorgio Minisini, third right on podium, and Lucrezia Ruggiero, third left, won the first gold of the European Games ©Kraków-Małopolska 2023
Italy's Giorgio Minisini, third right on podium, and Lucrezia Ruggiero, third left, won the first gold of the European Games ©Kraków-Małopolska 2023

BMX freestyle titles went to Iveta Miculyčová of the Czech Republic in the women's and Britian's Kieran Reilly in the men's at Krzeszowice BMX Park.

In karate, Damián Quintero and Paola García provided a men's and women's kata double for Spain, Austria's Bettina Plank triumphed in the women's under-50kg kumite, Turkey's Eray Şamdan triumphed in the men's under-60kg and Azerbaijan's Tural Aghalarzada at under-67kg.

World champion Natalia Kałucka of Poland set a personal best 6.573sec to beat compatriot Aleksandra Mirosław to the women's speed sport climbing gold at Tarnow Climbing Centre, and the day concluded with beach handball titles for Spain and Denmark.

Spain's men beat Hungary 14-12 on penalties at the Tarnow Beach Arena, and Denmark's women won a shoot-out 10-8 against Spain.

The Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games are set to continue tomorrow with 37 medal events across eight sports, including the first in athletics and taekwondo.