European Games Day 6: As it happened
19:44pm - Thanks for following all the fun and Games with us!
That's it from today's bleary-eyed live bloggers. See you tomorrow oh loyal ones.
No really though, please come back. Please.
Stay with the Olympic Channel live streams with more action and highlights from today's action still to come.
European Games Day 6 headlines and highlights
- 55-year-old Ni Xia Lian won a bronze medal in table tennis
- 38-year-old Timo Boll won gold in the men's table tennis
- Age doesn't matter
- Anna Korakaki fired Greece to gold
- Next gen canoe crews made a statement
- It rained
2019 European Games Highlights: Day 6
9:47: It's all in the DNA
This new athletics format has been a real win with the crowds in Minsk.
France, Belarus, Italy, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Germany have qualified for Friday's final.
9:43pm - Big day in the boxing ring
Some great fights today, the boxers will have a rest day tomorrow and we'll see all the semi-finals on Friday.
Finals day is Saturday.
Check in with us here to get all the updates.
9:21pm - Wrestling round-up: The battle of the big units
Russia's wrestling giants dominated at the Sports Palace.
Russian Dauren Kurugliev destroyed home dreams of gold in men's freestyle 86kg gold after he beat Belarus' Ali Shabanau.
And the battle of the big units in the 125kg category went to Russian Anzor Khizriev.
He was bigger and stronger than his Georgian rival Givi Matcharashvili - so much so that it looked like a battle between different weight classes.
Matcharashvili is a world U-23 champion and put up a decent defence - by actually defending most of the time.
So much so that was penalised for lack of activity.
The Georgian made one last desperate attempt to score but was caught mid-air by Khizriev and unceremoniously smashed into the mat.
Anzor Khizriev was crowned 125kg champion.
Azerbaijan's Mahir Amiraslanov defeated Serbia's Stevan Micic in the Men's -57kg freestyle wrestling gold medal final. during day six of the 2nd European Games at Sports Palace on June 26, 2019 in Minsk, Belarus. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
8:50pm - Serious rain in Minsk
It's absolutely hammering down. Chucking, lashing, slamming, smashing it down. Record breaking rain. Olympic even.
I pity the athletes still out there on the athletics track. They're putting a brave face on it.
Czech high jumper Martin Heindl could have cleared the bar and then won points for his dive on the way down into the pool of water on the landing mat.
But he didn't.
8:43pm - Day 6 Beach Soccer results
All results below courtesy of Beach Soccer Worldwide who clearly have a very good graphics department.
Belarus top Group A and Ukraine Group B after two days of action.
Portugal 8-2 Romania
Italy 4-2 Russia
Spain 4-6 Ukraine
Belarus 5 - Switzerland 5 (Belarus win 3-2 on penalties)
20:37 - Dario Bilodid's on holiday
Ukraine's 18-year-old judo star showed off some holiday snaps on Instagram.
A holiday sounds nice but we're only at the end of Day 6.
Four more days of fun and Games to come!
8:29 - Timo Boll's secret
The Olympic Channel cornered Germany's gold medal winning table tennis superstar and forced him to answer our questions.
How does he do it?? Or keep doing it?
"I try to economise myself and not overdo it. I'm not just training, training, training. It's important to have a balance."
Lesson of the day: Be more like Boll.
7:43 - Ni Xia Lian speaks to Olympic Channel
We also caught up with the Luxembourg's bronze medallist who has become a bit of a viral hit after her amazing tournament.
Her coach Tommy Danielsson is also her husband, she was born in Shanghai and won two world championship medals with China in 1983 in Tokyo.
Lian told us that she qualified for the Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004 Olympics but injuries and visa problems kept her from competing.
"My favourite Olympics was Beijing 2008 because of the organisation and the food, particularly the roast duck."
Now that she's qualified for Tokyo, will we see her in Japan?
"I want to enjoy Tokyo and Japan where I have happy memories."
So will Japan be her final Games?
"Never say never."
7:36pm - The women's table tennis podium
Portugal's Yu Fu, Germany's Ying Han and Luxembourg's Ni Xia Lian collect their medals on the table tennis podium.
Lian has hit the headlines after her bronze medal win at the fine age of 55.
7:32pm - Boxing quarter-finals about to begin
The Sports Palace Uruchie is home to the boxing quarter-finals.
Some great bouts lined up.
7:02pm - Timo Boll is 2019 European Games table tennis champion!
Timo Boll wins the 2019 European Games!
Denmark's Jonathan Groth was a worthy opponent and brought out the A-game in Boll, the 38-year-old got better as the match wore on, winning eventually by 4 games to 2.
It finished: 6-11, 12-10, 12-14, 11-9, 11-6, 11-4.
That's the German's 18th European gold medal.
Both men qualify for Tokyo 2020.
6:59pm - Boll turning it on
Not one to lower myself to national stereotypes, a workmate has just likened Boll to a German supercar moving up through the gears and accelerating away from his opponent.
I would never say that.
And Boll has won it!
6:55pm - A bit of a chat
Boll slams one into the net but it spins up and over the net before bouncing on the net support then off the table.
Groth points and argues that it may be his point because it didn't actually technically hit his side of the table.
Boll gives him a 'you're having a laugh' face.
Point goes to Boll.
It's 6-3 to the 38-year-old.
6:52pm - Boll finds his groove
Boll takes the 5th game 11-6.
He's really finding his rhythm now, closing that last game out with four points in a row.
The German is just one game away from gold.
6:49pm - Athletes' playlists
Eye of the Tiger and the Rocky soundtrack on repeat?
6:44pm - 2 games apiece
Boll levels things up.
The 38 year-old using all his experience here, but his 26-year-old opponent looks unflustered.
Groth is a study in calm.
It's Boll 2-2 Groth - 6-11, 12-10, 12-14, 11-9.
And 4-4 in the 5th.
6:40pm - That's a paddling
No holding back here.
Both players absolutely going for the killer shot with every chance they get.
Short, sharp rallies with some knockout forehands from Boll.
6:26 - Timo Boll and Jonathan Groth in play
It's so close this one, the World No.6 (Boll) vs the World No.18.
They shared one game each to start with and the third went to 14-12.
Groth leading by 2 games to 1.
6:16 - Yu Fu wins and the tears flow
Portugal's gold medal winning paddler couldn't hold back the tears after that brilliant gold medal win.
6:12 - Yu Fu is European Games table tennis Champion!
It's gold for Portugal as Yu Fu defeats Germany's Ying Han to win her first major title.
Rio silver medallist Han fought back from 2-0 down but her defensive style was overcome of Fu's attacking intent.
Fu won it 4-2 - 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7.
Both have booked their places at the Tokyo 2020.
5:28 - Table tennis final on a knife edge
Traded blows, sharing scores, the German and the Portuguese players are putting on a show. First Fu just misses the corner, then Han holds on with a series of top defensive shots.
Ying Han is a Rio 2016 silver medallist and 3-time European team gold medallist, Yu Fu is a European singles silver medallist from Budapest 2016.
And it's all even!
2 games each. Ying has turned around a 2 game deficit
5:21pm - Terrific table tennis
Head-spinning, mind-melting table tennis.
That's the kind of rally you'll see in a youtube top ten table tennis rallies comp, or popping up in your Facebook feed with 674 million views.
The third game goes down to the wire.
And it goes to Germany's Ying who pulls the match back to 2-1.
5:14pm - Table tennis final update
It's a battle of contrasting styles here, Yu Fu the more aggressive, attacking player while Ying Han stepping back and working her way through a wide spectrum of spins.
Ying making some returns that defy the laws of physics.
The Portuguese player's strategy is paying dividends. It's 2 games to 0, Yu Fu winning 11-5, 11-8.
It's close again in the early stages of the 3rd.
5:09pm - Women's table tennis final underway
Germany's Ying Han and Portugal's Yu Fu are serving up some top class table tennis here.
Yu takes the first game, 5-5 in the second.
4:53 - Shooting: "A heartbeat can make you miss"
Imagine consciously taking a shot between heartbeats.
That's the level of timing and concentration required at elite sharpshooting level.
Double Baku 2015 shooting gold medallist Petra Zublasing gave us an insight into the sport:
"Shooting is very draining on the mind because you have to stay perfectly still the entire time which requires a lot of control of all the small muscles in your body," the Olympian told the Minsk 2019 press team.
"Because our target is so small, the tiniest movement, even a heartbeat, can make you miss. - Petra Zublasing
"So generally we shoot between one heartbeat and the next, which is very hard, because even though we're standing still, our heart rate gets up to 160 beats per minute, due to the tension."
"Nobody can hold their concentration for that long a period of time, so subconsciously you switch things on when you shoot and then in between you turn it off."
A bit like live bloggers between posts.
4:45 - Eyes on the prize
Team pins is where it's at.
4:41pm - Men's table tennis bronze goes to Croatia
Tomislav Pucar has gotten the better of Ukraine's Lei Kou and takes home bronze.
It finished 4-1 to the Croatian.
4:38pm - Italian gold and silver in archery recurve final
Italian Tatiana Andreoli has won the women's recurve individual gold medal.
The 20-year-old outshot her compatriot and Mediterranean Games gold medallist Lucilla Boari 7-1 to take top spot.
4:12pm - Ni Xia Lin secures Tokyo 2020 berth
Luxembourg's star paddler hasn't just only won a bronze medal at the European Games, she's also secured herself a place in the women's singles at Tokyo 2020.
She will be 57 years young at the Tokyo Games.
See you there, Ni!
3:46pm - Ni Xia Lian is European Games bronze medallist at 55 years of age!
And she wins it in style!
A smashing point right in the corner has the crowd on their feet and Ni Xia Lian with her head in her hands.
She can't believe it.
Luxembourg's first ever European Games medal comes from a woman who won mixed doubles and team World Championship gold medals for China back in 1983.
The 1998 and 2002 European champion adds another European title to the treasure chest in 2019.
3:42pm - She's close!
The Shanghai-born paddler is on the verge of another European title here.
3:37pm - Ni takes 5th game!
Luxembourg's veteran takes the 5th 11-7 to make it 3-2 with some really solid table tennis.
Ni has the crowd behind her, and draws a big cheer when she finds the corner with a precise forehand.
The 55-year-old is 8-2 up in the 6th game.
3:31: Table tennis bronze medal match
Ni Xia Lian is still in the running to win a medal here in Minsk, she just levelled the bronze medal match at 2 games each.
Her opponent Yang Xiaoxin is out to win Monaco's first medal.
There's a 25 year age difference between Luxembourg's Ni and Monaco's Yang.
No that age matters.
3:26pm - Beach soccer result: Portugal 8-2 Romania
Portugal ran away with it in the end.
It's 2-2 between Italy and Russia right now. Should be another cracker of a match.
3:09pm - Archery gold for Slovenia
Toja Ellison is on target in the women's compound individual title.
The Slovenian had to overcome Russian favourite and world champion Natalia Avdeeva in a tense shootout, winning 10-8 after the two archers finished level on 144 points.
A big victory for the 25-year-old Slovenian.
No, you're right, Ellison doesn't sound very Slovenian.
That's her surname because she's married to Brady Ellison - a double Olympic silver medal winning archer from the United States.
2:56pm - I wouldn't mess with this ref
2:34pm - Irish boxing's boom - Thank Katie Taylor
Ireland's superstar boxer Katie Taylor has inspired an entire generation of girls and young women on the emerald isle and we are seeing the results at the European Games in 2019.
Taylor won the first ever Olympic gold medal in women's boxing at London 2012 and is now the undisputed lightweight world champion, holding the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBC belts.
Grainne Walsh is into the semi-finals at the Euro Games - she told the Irish Examiner newspaper that:
“Were it not for the example she [Katie Taylor] set there wouldn’t be so many top contenders inspired to come through. For all the medals she won, it’s the platform she has given all of us which is probably her biggest legacy."
Let's see if Walsh can use that platform and go all the way to gold here in Minsk.
2:26 - "What's wrong with me?"
There was a lovely moment at the end of the 25m air pistol final when gold medal winner Anna Korakaki went around consoling the other shooters who finished outside the medal positions.
It was too much for Jo Gunston who was watching:
"What's wrong with me? I just watched my first action of the European Games and teared up watching never-seen-her-before-in-my-life Anna Korakaki from Greece win the 25m shooting with the last shot. Competitors comforting those who'd missed out on a medal? I was gone!"
2:11pm - Greek gold in 25m Pistol shooting
Anna Korakaki has won European Games gold in the 25m pistol event.
The Rio gold medallist made her mark with a score of 35+3, bettering Switzerland's Heidi Gerber on 35+2 and Bulgaria's Antoaneta Boneva who shot a 31.
This is a big result for Korakaki who almost gave the sport up in 2014 when she finished 4th in Youth Olympic Games.
Watch her story here:
1:51pm - Trampoline power couple flying high
Yesterday saw Belarus' husband and wife golden couple on top of the podium in their events.
Uladzislau Hancharou is reigning Olympic trampoline champion and his wife, Hanna Hancharova, had the perfect ending in the Minsk Arena last night.
But it was a difficult start after a mistake left Hancharou out of the medals in the synchronised trampoline event.
The 23-year-old didn't blame the raucous crowd in the Minsk Arena:
"I wouldn't put the responsibility on the spectators, of course it's not because of them," he said. "First of all it was a silly and serious mistake."
His wife of two years, Hancharou, said her victory didn't come as a surprise.
"I was calm. It was scary because I was too calm," she said. "I was confident maybe because we worked hard."
Hancharou told Olympic Channel that he wants a gold statue next to the iconic Christ Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro if he wins gold again at Tokyo 2020.
He was joking.
1:25pm - European Games Beach Soccer results
There were 4 matches yesterday with Spain and Belarus topping the tables after round 1.
It looks like we have a really tight tournament on our hands in beach soccer after two games went to extra time and one to penalties to decide winners yesterday.
Only the hosts Belarus won in normal time, making a bit of a statement with a 6-1 victory over Romania.
Get a full round-up of day one's action here.
Beach Soccer Day 1 results (From yesterday, Tuesday 25th June)
Portugal 1–3 Switzerland *After Extra Time (AET)
Spain 5–4 Russia *AET
Ukraine 4(4)–(3)4 Italy *Penalties
Romania 1–6 Belarus
1:14pm - Beach soccer: Sun, sand, and spectacular goals
What a goal.
Portugal's goalkeeper Andrade flicks it up, solo, solo, knee, smashes a volley towards Romania's goal and Von gets the slightest of flicks to head it over the Romanian keeper.
Just one of a host of brilliant goals we've seen so far in the tournament.
What's not to like about beach soccer?
Portugal leads Romania 4-1 in today's first match.
Much more to come:
1:05pm - The humble heroes
Without the legions of volunteers, huge multi-sport events like the European Games simply wouldn't be possible.
Big respect, big love to all the volunteers worldwide.
12:48pm - Table tennis: Timo Boll through to the final
3-time Olympic medallist Timo Boll is through to the final at the 2019 European Games.
The German paddler is looking good, winning his semi final over Croatian Tomislav Pucar 4-1.
Boll will face Denmark's Jonathan Groth for gold after his 3-0 semi final victory over the Ukrain's Lei Kou.
So it's world No.6 Boll vs No.33 Groth in the final.
That's scheduled to start later this evening at 18:00pm CEST 19:00pm local time in Minsk.
Right after the women's final.
12:34 - Table Tennis: Luxembourg's 55-year-old semi finalist
Ni Xia Lian finally fell in the semi finals to Portugal's Yu Fu after a wild ride to the semi finals.
Luxembourg's 55-year-old baller beat top-seed Bernadette Szocs on Monday then eliminated Sweden's Linda Bergstrom 4-1 in the table tennis quarters yesterday.
But Portugal's Yu Fu had too much in the end for Ni, winning by 4 games to 2.
Ni will play for a medal against Monaco's Xiaoxin Yang who lost to Germany's Ying Han.
The women's singles final will take place later today at 17:00 CEST, 18:00 local time in Minsk.
We'll see Yu Fu vs. Ying Han.
Tune in, if the semi finals are anything to go by it will be well worth it.
Ying Han has a range of spins that'll make you feel dizzy just watching them.
12:23 - "He was a little bit angry, he didn't speak to me"
Polish canoe sprinter Tomasz Kacsor stunned 3-time Olympic champion Sebastian Brendel by winning the gold medal in the men's C1 1000m at the Regatta Course Zaslavl.
"I'm very happy. I had a very good time yesterday and I wanted to have the same today in the final, to be the fastest," said Kacsor.
He also gave us a fascinating insight into canoe sprint strategy:
"There was no strategy. Just to row as fast as I can."
The Pole was beaming after his win: "It means a lot. He's the world champion and Olympic champion and I beat him for the first time in this kind of big championship event."
But Brendel was not best pleased.
"He was a little bit angry. He did not speak to me."
11:12 - Canoe believe it?
Medals galore on the water in a morning of shocks, stuns, and surprises:
Men's K1 1000m canoe sprint
Hungary's Balint Kopasz took the first men's gold medal in the K1 1000m canoe sprint.
He crossed the line in 3:30.936.
Portugal's Fernando Pimenta came second in 3:31.048, and Belarus's Aleh Yurenia is third after his 3:32.291 sprint.
Men's C1 1000 canoe sprint
Rio 2016 and 10-time world champion Sebastian Brendel could only manage bronze as Polish rower Tomasz Kaczor powered in to finish first.
Brendel clocked 3:59.278 behind Kacsor - runner-up at Baku 2015 - the Pole came home in 3:57.953.
Russia's Kirill Shamshurin is bronze medallist with 3:58.028.
Women's K2 500m canoe sprint pairs
Local sprinters Volha Khudzenka and Maryna Litvinchuk gave Belarus more gold in the K2 500m canoe sprint pairs in 1min 40.888sec.
They shocked Hungary’s world champions in another exciting moment in morning racing.
The Hungarian duo of Anna Karasz and Danuta Kozak went into the race as heavy favourites particularly considering Kozak has won five Olympic medals, including 3 at Rio 2016 in K1 500, K2 500 and K4 500.
Danuta Kozak: My Rio Highlights
Danuta Kozak: My Rio HighlightsThe best moments from the 2016 Summer Olympic Games
The win was a surprise, but the margin of the win even more so, the Belarus team finishing almost two seconds faster than the Hungarians with 1:42.526.
Russia’s Kira Stepanova and Anastasia Panchenko, won bronze with 1:43.358.
Men's K2 1000m
Germany's king of the canoe Max Hoff was back doing what he does best.
Winning gold medals.
The Rio 2016 gold medallist and six-times world champion added European Games gold to his bag o' swag in the K2 1000m sprint.
The 36-year-old partnered with 20-year-old Jacob Schopf and they came home in 3 minutes 18.175 seconds.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Syromiatnykov and Oleh Kukharyk clocked 3:18.865 and a silver medal.
Bronze went to Russia’s Vladislav Litovka and Roman Anoshin, who logged 3:19.023.
Men’s C2 1000m
Romania’s Catalin Chirila and Victor Mihalachi won the last of the finals on Day 6 at the Regatta Course in Zaslauje.
3:40.919 earned them victory over Ukraine’s Yurii Vandiuk and Andrii Rybachok with 3:41.692
Russia’s Kirill Shamshurin and Ilya Pervukhin took bronze in 3:42.547.
10:57am - And we're live!
Welcome to day 6 as the action gets hotter than a road racer's saddle in the Minsk summer sun.
While live bloggers were having breakfast all kinds of top athletes were engaged in all classes of medal-winning exploits.
Will get you an update on what's happened already, but live bloggers deserve to have breakfast too.
This one isn't right without a banana, muesli, raisin, and dark chocolate shake.
Don't judge me.
Day 6 highlights and medal events (all times CEST):
09:00-10:30 Canoe sprint: men's (K1 1000m, C1 1000m, K2 1000m, C2 1000m) and women's finals (K2 500m)
12:20-13:05 Shooting: women's 25m rapid fire pistol
13:40-14:20 Archery: compound women's individual finals
13:50-14:35 Shooting: men's 50m rifle three positions
14:30-15:00 Archery: recurve women's individual finals
15:50-16:35 Shooting: men's 25m rapid fire pistol
17:00-18:00 Table Tennis: women's final
18:00-19:00 Table Tennis: men's final
17:00-19:40 Wrestling: men's freestyle finals (-57kg, -74kg, -86kg, -125kg)
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).