Russia are the Super League champions again
Their nerves could not really settle until the final hour but in the end Russia achieved their aim as they won the Super League of the European Athletics Team Championships on home soil in Cheboksary today.
But many a nail would have been bitten in a thrilling second day of such high-class track and field action at the Olimpiysky Stadium.
Russia won the trophy for the fourth time in the six staging of the competition with 368.5 points from Germany with 346.5 and France in third with 319.5. But the bottom three overnight remained the bottom three throughout, which meant relegation for the Nordic countries: Sweden, Finland and Norway.
Russia had 10 winners over the weekend, with five more yesterday.
Sergey Shubenkov brought early maximum points as he won the 110m hurdles before Anna Shchagina timed her finish to perfection to take the 1500m, Darya Klishina won the long jump with a championship record performance before the women triumphed in the 4x400m relay and then world and European indoor champion Mariya Kuchina won the high jump.
An Olympic and European champion on the track, now Russia’s new head coach Yuriy Borzakovskiy is a winner again as he led his strong squad to regain the trophy they last won in Gateshead in 2013.
Klishina summed it up as she said: "I was really nervous because we are in Russia and I wanted to get 12 points for my team."