European Games 2019 Day 8: As it happened

Highlights and how it all happened on Day 8 - 28th June - at the 2019 European Games in Minsk, Belarus.

9:09pm - That's all folks!

That's it from us on Day 8, thanks for following along, don't forget to come back tomorrow.

Today's Headlines:

Day 8 Highlights

8:57pm - Cycling: Men's points race goes to Greece

Christos Volkakis wins the men's points race, doubling down on his gold in the scratch race yesterday.

Netherland's Jan Willem Van Schip is silver medallist, Russia adds bronze to the collection through Dmitri Mukhomediarov.

Big news in track as Britain's megastar Jason Kenny is out of tomorrow's quarter-finals in the men's sprint.

8:33pm - Huge win for Ireland's Walker

Ireland's Kurt Walker has defeated Great Britain's Peter McGrail in the men's bantam -56kg semi final.

McGrail is 2017 European and 2018 Commonwealth Games champion, making Walker's victory all the more significant.

8:16 - Mariya Stadnik lights up Palace

Local legend Mariya Stadnik has the crowd on their feet as she wins the -50kg gold medal at the Sports Palace.

The Belorussian did it in style to defeat Ukraine's Oksana Livach 7-1.

Stadnik is well loved around here, she's the reigning 48kg champ from Baku 2015 and 3 Olympic medals to her name - bronze at Beijing 2008, silver at London 2012 and silver again at Rio 2016.

7:59pm - Women's scratch gold: Kirsten Wild

6x World champ, 6x European champ, and now women's scratch European Games 2019 gold medallist.

The Netherland's Kirsten Wild wasn't going to be stopped and the 36-year-old's time of 13.17 was plenty fast for the top gong.

A really good result for another of Italy's promising young crop - 19-year-old Martina Fidanza takes silver, Belarus' Hanna Tserakh bronze.

7:47pm - Spain do it again

Spain's beach soccer team is into the final of the European Games after coming from behind against Switzerland.

Portugal face Ukraine right now to see who'll join them.

A late goal made it 2-2, and it's into extra time...

7:35pm - What do boxers listen to before a fight?

Here's Lauren Price's spotify playlist.

7:09pm - Women's Boxing 60kg semi-finals

Ireland's world champ Kellie Harrington is in the 60kg final after a 5-0 result against Sweden's Agnes Alexiusson.

She'll face Finland's Mira Potkonen who won 4-0 against Russia's Anastasiia Beliakova.

Harrington is another Irish boxer following the trail cut by Katie Taylor.

Despite being world champ, Kellie still works at St. Vincents Psychiatric Hospital in Fairview, Dublin.

She told Ireland's joe.ie in an interview that:

"It’s a brilliant place to work, it’s a brilliant getaway and I think every athlete needs something to take them away from their sport cause you can’t go on 24/7 thinking about boxing."

"People are like ‘and you’re still working?’ You know, I’m not a millionaire, I haven’t won the lotto or anything like that like or, you know, even if I did I’ll still keep working until I get told that I’m not allowed work on that ward that I work on anymore."

They don’t understand how much they (staff and patients at the hospital) mean to me, you know what I mean? And they mean a lot to me.

"I’m telling you, if you were there you’d understand exactly what I’m talking about, like it’s just magic, magic, it really is magic.

"The craic we have and the bond we have, it's nearly better than boxing, nearly. "

6:59 - Neck and neck

Ukraine and Belarus are in a battle for first place here, the rest are battling for bronze.

Ukraine take it!

Gold goes to the Ukraine, silver to Belarus and bronze to Germany in the debut of this new DNA format.

Is it the future of athletics?

Do the athletes even like it?

The crowd certainly seemed to enjoy it, particularly because Belarus were in the hunt for gold, but many athletes might not really like their event being swallowed up into something that ends in basically a big relay with head starts.

Here's what some athletes think:

6:55 - In the hunt!

It's here, the hunt, the grand finale.

Belarus and the Ukraine get a decent head start because of superior spikes totals, Czech Rep, Germany, France, Italy follow in a chansing pack considerably behind.

Oh.. a terrible handover from France loses them all the time they had caught up on the leaders.

6:49pm - Belarus win women's 100m hurdles

Elvira Herman tore that race up, and won by a long way.

Her 12.86 gives Belarus 12 points, France's Fanny Quenot is second in 13.13secs for 10 points and Ukraine's Hanna Plotitsyna a fraction behind in 13.14 for 8 points that keep the Ukraine top.

Just.

Ukraine on 64 points, Belarus on 62, Czech Republic lead the chasing pack with 46.

6:37 - Russia win men's team pursuit gold

Huge result for Russia.

Switzerland are second and the hosts Belarus made the podium in third.

Russia's winning time was 3:15.487.

6:28pm - DNA: Men's 110m Hurdles won by Belarus

Vitali Parakhonka ran an incredible hurdle sprint in 13.55 to win much raucousness from the Dinamo stadium - and 12 points.

After 6 events Ukraine are top and Belarus bounce up to second.

It stands:

  1. Ukraine 56
  2. Belarus 50
  3. Czech Republic 44
  4. Germany 38
  5. Italy 32
  6. France 32

6:10pm - DNA after 5 events

Czech Rep win the 4x400m relay in 3:19.21, Ukraine pick up valuable points in second, France are third.

Here's how things stand:

  1. Ukraine 42
  2. Czech Republic 32
  3. France 28
  4. Belarus 26
  5. Italy 22
  6. Germany 18

5:55pm - Track cycling result

Italy win women's team pursuit!

A super cycle from Italy's fab four of Elisa Balsamo, Alzini Martina, Marta Cavalli, and 19-year-old rising star Letizia Paternoster.

Silver for Team GB.

5:43pm - Beach soccer

Spain - Switzerland is a high-quality contest in the first of the semi-finals.

Switzerland lead 2-1 but as the Italians found out yesterday, you can never write of this Spain side.

5:32pm - Ukraine still top

Belarus top the women's long jump qualifier and win the women's 100m after local fan favourite Krystsina Tsimanouskaya's 11.46s sprint, that drew a massive cheer.

Ukraine are still top of the rankings.

It's:

  1. Ukraine 20
  2. Czech Republic 16
  3. Belarus 14
  4. Italy 14
  5. France 12
  6. Germany 8

5:13pm - DNA finals underway

Crowds flock to the Dinamo stadium for the DNA final.

10 points (or spikes) go to the Ukraine after sprinter Zdenek Stromsik wins the 100m in 10.44sec.

Now it's the women's long jump - remember it's one event at a time so spectators can follow along easily.

The basic idea is that teams collect spikes from a range of different athletics events, then those spikes count towards seconds in the final big relay race called 'the hunt'.

5:03pm - Final shooting medal goes to..

Germany have won the mixed team 25m standard pistol final, taking the silver medal too.

Doreen Vennekamp and Oliver Geis gun their way to gold with 199.5 while the other German pair of Monika Karsch celebrate silver having shot 192.5.

Bronze belongs to Ukraine's Olena Kostevych and Pavlo Korostylov.

4:53pm - Boxing +91kg

Now the big boys are out battering each other as best they can.

Germany's Nelvie Tiafack is as big as a garden shed but France's Mourad Aliev is better technically.

Aliev goes through 4-1.

He'll face Ukraine's Viktor Vykhrst - another man mountain - in the final who overpowered Croatia's Marko Milun.

4:34 - Boxing semi-finals

It's non-stop in the Sports Palace Uruchie.

Great Britain's Pat McCormack beats Rio 2016 silver medallist Lorenzo Sotomayor to make the final.

The ref stopped it after one knockdown and another wobble by Sotomayor.

The Cuban-born Sotomayor was outpunched by Britain's 24-year-old Sunderland native who has a Commonwealth Games gold medal and a bagful of Olympic dreams.

Britain's Ben Whitakker is also through to the finals in the -81kg class after a unanimous 5-0 victory over Armenia's Gor Nersesyan.

Great boxing from Whitakker who was way better than his Armenian foe, the 81kg final will be well worth a watch.

Whittaker face another Cuban-born Azerbaijani - Loren Alfonso.

4:12 - Track cycling

Finals later this evening, keep up with what's happening here.

4:03pm - Romania into the finals!

Daniela Dodean has done it.

The Romanian plays her team into the finals, it went right down down to the very last point and the team sprinted on to the playing area to congratulate her.

There's a pile of Romanian happiness on the floor.

Romania will play Germany in the women's team competition.

3:59pm - Table tennis nail-biter

Hungary 2- 2 Romania and it's 10-8 to Romania's Dodean.

Matchpoint!

Hungary's Georgina Pota back from the brink, but Romania have another one.

10-11.

3:33pm - Gunning for gold

An all-Italian mixed team shotgun skeet gold medal final finished with Gabriele Rossetti and Chiara Cainero top of the podium, Diana Bacosi and Riccardo Filippelli on the second step.

With nothing to separate the two teams after scoring 33, the match had to go to a shootout, and even then it looked like a winner would never come.

There was finally a decider as Rossetti and Cainero won by 33+11 to 33+10.

Bronze goes to Czech Republic's Sumova Barbora and Jakub Tomecek.

But it's all smiles for the Italians who have had an outstanding shooting tournament.

6 of Italy's 9 gold medals have come in shooting events.

3:30pm - Beach soccer goal of the tournament?

What a goal this was.

Spain had been losing to Italy practically the entire match, and at 5-5 with 40 seconds to go Antonio Mayor did this:

Buenisimo.

3:25 - Beach soccer

The beach soccer semi-finals are up later today, it's Spain-Switzerland and Portugal-Ukraine.

3:13pm - Romania-Hungary goes the distance

It's 2-2 as Bernadette Szocs draws Romania level.

Now it's all down to this singles match between Hungary's Georgina Pota and Daniela Dodean.

Great atmosphere here as Dodean pulls away in the first game, it's 9-5.

And Dodean hammers home game point to take it 11-6.

Unstoppable.

2:56pm - Jason Kenny into final

A late burst on the last lap from 6-time Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny comes from behind in the final lap to comfortably progress to the sprint second round.

Netherlands qualified first in 43.111 and Great Britain just behind with 43.517 in the men's team sprint.

Great Britain's women also made the team pursuit gold medal match.

2:52pm - Boxing

Spain's Gabriel Escobar comes out swinging and he's into the final too at -52kg at the expense of Italian Manuel Cappai.

2:43pm - Table tennis: Giving it Szocs

Romania's Bernadette Szocs is now up against Hungary's Szandra Pergel.

Tournament top seed Szocs was in tears when she lost out in the singles competition to Luxembourg's 55-year-old Ni Xia Lian, but she bounced back to win silver in the mixed doubles.

Now she has a chance to get her team back into this women's team semi-final.

That won't be easy against a determined looking Pergel who's now won the first game.

Hungary one up.

2:29pm - Table tennis tension ratchets up

Over in the Tennis Olympic Centre there's nothing between Hungary and Romania in the women's table tennis team semi-final.

It's 1-1 right now.

Elizabeta Samara (ROU) and Dora Madarasz (HUN) is locked at 2-2.

And Madarasz wins game five to win a point for Hungary!

2-1, Hungary take the lead.

2:19pm - Boxing men's fly

Great Britain's Galal Yafai and Bulgaria's Daniel Asenov are having a barnstorming fight here in the men's fly -52kg, both men very evenly matched in height and reach, both getting in close and really going for it.

Yafai stumbles a little but stays on his feet...

It's all over and the Bulgarian is all smiles as he goes through to the final. That was close.

It's bronze for GBR's Galal Yafai.

2:07pm - Boxing: Welter weight finals

Women's Welter -69kg semi-final just finished.

Ireland's Grainne Walsh lost out to Poland's Karolina Koszewska.

Koszewska had a big height and reach advantage and made it count despite Walsh's spirited display.

The Pole is up against Italy's Assunta Canfora in tomorrow's final.

1:59pm - Wrestling underway

Plenty of wrestling to come today.

1:57pm - We want cake!

1:54pm - Saul Craviotto's recipe for success

It wasn't the greatest day ever for Spain's Saul Craviotto in the canoe, but he'll be back.

He shared his recipe for canoe - and Masterchef - with us:

1:45pm - Gymnastic preps underway

Angelina Melnikova and the Russian team is being put through its paces right now.

You can find all tomorrow's start times here.

The Russian gymnastic team - Including Angelina Melnikova - in training. Pic: Olympic Channel
The Russian gymnastic team - Including Angelina Melnikova - in training. Pic: Olympic ChannelThe Russian gymnastic team - Including Angelina Melnikova - in training. Pic: Olympic Channel

1:37pm - Boxing: Michaela Walsh into final

It's a big day for boxing today as semi-finals will decide finalists.

Ireland's Michaela Walsh was first to book her final berth after she won 3-2 against Russia's Daria Abramova.

Walsh faces Bulgarian Stanimira Petrova in the final after she defeated Holland's Jemyma Betrian.

That semi-final also finished 3-2.

1:20pm - Badminton singles semi-finals

And this is how the women's badminton singles finals will pan out:

Line Kjaersfeldt vs Kirsty Gilmour

Evgeniya Kosetskaya vs Mia Blichfeldt

Denmark's Blichfeldt has been marked out by many as a breakthrough top-10 talent, she's great to watch, all aggression: shouts mid-points and fist pumps between them.

The Olympic Channel managed to get a few words with the 21-year-old Danish starlet in Minsk.

"I am a bad loser," she told us.

Very often the worst losers make the best winners.

Spanish shuttler Carolina Marin is her idol.

1:02pm - Athletics' Ryder Cup

The USA vs Europe will also take place here in Belarus in the Dinamo stadium on 9-10 Spetember 2019.

"The brainchild of European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen, The Match harks back to the famous dual international matches of the 1960s and 70s and is aiming at establishing a regular Europe v USA rivalry, like those in golf which has the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup, which transcend just the sport’s own aficionados and where every top performer in the sport is desperate to be selected and a member of the winning team," says the official website.

“Team competition always brings out the best in athletes and fans love to see stars in peak condition fighting to lift the cup at the end of the day,” said Hansen. “I am sure The Match will give the 2019 season an extra dimension of interest and it could well turn into a regular feature on the international calendar.”

12:59pm - DNA final today!

This exciting new format will have its first ever medallists today.

It starts at 6pm Minsk time, 5pm CEST.

12:48 - Germany win table tennis semis

A thrilling semi-final match-up comes to an end as Germany eliminate Poland 3-2 in in the women's team competition.

Nina Mittelham just had too much for Poland's Li Qian. to tip the balance in the German's favour.

Hungary and Romania are vying for the other final spot.

Hungary lead by 1 game to 0 in the first doubles match.

And Romania level it up! 1-1.

12:38pm - Mia Blichfeldt through to badminton semi-finals

Denmark's top-ranked women's singles shuttler Mia Blichfeldt is into the semi-finals after a straight sets win over Great Britain's Chloe Birch.

Denmark's big medal hope has had a couple of wobbles but looks to have found her mojo in Minsk.

That one finished 21-11, 21-13.

12:23 - Switzerland's 50-year-old silver medallist

Switzerland's Heidi Diethelm-Gerber started her shooting career in her thirties.

Now she's an Olympic bronze medallist, a European Games silver medallist and is on her way to Tokyo 2020.

On Wednesday she won silver in the women's 25m pistol at the Minsk 2019 European Games, but it all may never have happened.

"It was by accident that I started shooting," she told the Minsk 2019 media team.

Heidi told Olympic Channel she have a normal job working in a hotel.

"Then I really wanted to make it to the Olympic Games in London, which I did, and since then I've been always trying to keep it up with the best in the world."

She was 32-years-old when she had a pistol in her hand for the first time.

"It was just for fun. I did not have any ambitions. The ambition to make it to the Olympic Games came only when I was 38 or 39 years old," she said. 

That target led to many others.

She qualified for London 2012, took gold at the Baku 2015 European Games and then bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Although she is one of the oldest competitors in Minsk, Gerber feels she is still young in her sport.

"I've been doing that for only 10 years, so I can't say I am more experienced than the others. Some of them are very experienced, especially Monika Karsch (GER). She has been doing this for much longer," the Swiss said.

Diethelm-Gerber's silver medal in Minsk punched her ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and she is the top-ranked shooter in Switzerland in this discipline.

Her 25-year-old son Dylan is also a member of the national team, but she prefers to keep her career separate from his.

She says Paris 2024 could be his Games.

But mom still wants more success:

"I have [Olympic] bronze and now I have [European Games] silver and it would be nice if I can add something golden to that," she said.

"Obviously, you train for that and you try to give your best and when it works out on that day it is nice.

"I think I have a chance [for a medal] for Tokyo and I am 98 per cent on being there next year, although it does depend on my form next year. It all has to work out."

Heidi Diethelm-Gerber - Switzerland's European Games silver medallist has qualified for Tokyo 2020. Not bad for someone who took up her sport at 32. Pic: Olympic Channel
Heidi Diethelm-Gerber - Switzerland's European Games silver medallist has qualified for Tokyo 2020. Not bad for someone who took up her sport at 32. Pic: Olympic ChannelHeidi Diethelm-Gerber - Switzerland's European Games silver medallist has qualified for Tokyo 2020. Not bad for someone who took up her sport at 32. Pic: Olympic Channel

12:01pm - Artistic Gymnastics highlights

Russia's Angelina Melnikova and David Belyavskiy topped the artistic all-around qualifications yesterday.

The finals are tomorrow but you can relive the best of yesterday's action here

11:41am - Badminton mixed doubles semi-finals

The Adcocks will be joined in the semi-finals by English pair Lauren Smith and Marcus Ellis, France's Delphine Delrue and Thom Gicquel.

The other pair is a family affair, Britain may have its husband and wife team but Ireland has their brother-and-sister combo in Sam and Chloe Magee.

The Irish two are also into Saturday's semi-final.

And that means it'll be husband and wife vs brother and sister in the semis!

European Games 2019 mixied doubles semi finals:

Adcock/Adcock (GBR) vs Magee/Magee (IRL)

Gicquel/Delrue (FRA) vs Ellis/Smith (GBR)

11:32am - Chris and Gabby Adcock into badminton semi-final

Great Britain's husband and wife team Chris and Gabby Adcock have shuttled their way into the badminton semi-finals at the European Games.

They continue their strong run beating Denmark's Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen 21-15, 19-21, 21-15.

"We're really excited about tomorrow, we're in the medals now so it's just about what colour."

11:25pm - Table tennis women's teams semi-finals

Single's silver medallist Ying Han has just evened things up at 2-2 in the Germany-Poland semi-final of the table tennis mixed women's doubles.

Up next is Nina Mittelham vs. Li Qian.

11:08am - "I wish the fight took place" - Sadulaev

The 'Dagestani Dancer' received a big welcome at the House of Russia in the athlete's village in Minsk.

He wasn't all that enthused about winning gold because of a withdrawal, he wanted to fight.

"I have no emotions at all," Sadulaev said afterwards, "I do not feel the pleasure I do when I fight and win."

"I wish the fight took place." - Abdulrashid Sadulaev

"We have fought many times. He's a very strong-willed guy. I think we would show a good fight. I wouldn't care if I lost, no big deal."

The Rio 2016 86kg gold medallist has his priorities straight:

"The European Games in this hierarchy are in fourth place after the Olympics, world championships and European championships. Athletes cannot rest for a long time, so I'm here. For me, the European Games is another stage of preparation."

Here are some photos from that reception he got in Minsk at House of Russia:

11:04am - Abdulrashid Sadulaev

The 'Russian Tank' won 97kg gold because of opponent forfeit due to injury yesterday evening.

Usually he has to work harder for the hardware:

10:33am - Live blog is live

Morning from Minsk, this is the level of energy we plan on putting into today's live blog:

28 June:

13:00-21:26 Boxing women's and men's semi-finals

14:15-15:30 Shooting shotgun: mixed skeet finals

16:30-17:25 Shooting rifle and pistol: mixed 25m pistol final

17:00-19:20 Athletics: Dynamic mixed team final

17:25-20:15 Cycling track: women's (team pursuit, keirin, scratch) and men's (team pursuit and points race) finals

17:30-19:05 Wrestling: women's finals (-50kg, -57kg, -62kg, -76kg)

What is the European Games?

The European Games is a multisport event that takes place every four years.

It doubles as European Championships in a number of sports and events, and counts towards Olympic qualifying in others.

The first event happened in Baku 2015, the second in Minsk, Belarus, and the third will be held in 2023 in the Polish city of Krakow and the Malopolska region.

At Minsk 2019, more than 4,000 athletes from 50 countries are taking part in the second European Gamesfrom 21 to 30 June 2019.

200 sets of medals will be awarded across 15 sports and 23 disciplines, with the action shown live on Olympic Channel (restrictions in certain countries and territories apply).

Four years ago, at the inaugural European Games in Baku, Russia topped the medal table (164) ahead of hosts Azerbaijan (56), and Great Britain (47).

The event is live on Olympic Channel in many regions (click here to watch or get more information), and find out more in our Olympic Channel guide to all you need to know about the European Games.

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