Petra Zublasing was utterly dominant en route to a world record breaking rifle shooting gold ©Getty Images

Italy’s Petra Zublasing and Russia’s Vitaly Fokeev each excelled today at the European Games, blending precision, endurance and insurmountable mental strength to claim respective 50 metres rifle 3 positions and double trap shooting titles.

Zublasing, the 10m air rifle world champion whose partner is men's Olympic 3 positions winner Niccolo Campriano, produced the perfect overall performance, leading after the qualification phase before dominating the final.

Combining the three skills of shooting from a kneeling, prone and standing position, the event is considered among the toughest in the sport, with the smallest error across all three events ruthlessly punished on the scoreboard.

The Italian was second after the 15 shots in the kneeling position before taking the lead after the first of three rounds of five prone shots.

From that point she was simply too good, reaching the standing section with a lead of 6.3 points and eventually prevailing by a mammoth 10.1 points to set a record finals total of 464.7, 1.3 better than the previous mark set last month by Chang Jing of China.

"This gold medal just gives me a lot of confidence because lately I've changed and tried a lot of different materials," said the 25-year-old afterwards.

"The rifle itself, the shoes, small details - everything with the Olympics in my mind.

"Now I know that these changes work for me.

"That's the difference between the good shooters and the intermediate ones, the good ones manage to find their set-up and they stick to it, so I'm going to stick to these new changes from now on.

Petra Zublasing celebrates are continuing her superb qualifying form throughout the final ©Getty Images
Italy's Petra Zublasing celebrates are continuing her superb qualifying form throughout the final ©Getty Images

In a distant second-place was France's Laurence Brize, competing here just two months after giving birth to a boy.

Her silver medal also secured a French quota spot for Rio 2016.

Olivia Hofmann of Austria took bronze as Germany's world champion Beate Gauss finished down in fifth.

While Zublasing is very much a star in the making, double trap winner Fokeev rolled back the years today in taking a first major triumph since he won gold at the 2006 World Championships in Zagreb.

The 41-year-old shot a formidable 29 out of 30 in the final to defeat semi-final winner Richard Bognar, with the Hungarian unable to recover from two early misses on a day in which the lack of wind created perfect shooting conditions and therefore an even finer margin for error.

Antonino Barilla of Italy took the bronze medal after edging out Germany's Andreas Loew, who had controversially been docked two points in his semi-final after twice taking longer than 12 seconds to complete his shots.

Because he did not miss a shot, if that penalty had not been imposed Loew would have shot against Bognor in the final and bronze would have been the best that Fokeev could have achieved. 

Vitaly Fokeev saved his best for the final to overcome his Hungarian opponent and claim double trap gold ©Getty Images
Russia's Vitaly Fokeev beat Hungarian rival Richard Bognar in the final to claim double trap gold ©Getty Images

But history will only remember the result and the Russian was delighted to return to the summit of the sport.

"Since the 2006 World Championship, it is the first gold in a big, great tournament that I have got," he said.

"It is great to put this gold medal into my collection and look at them every day as much as I can. 

"It is just priceless."

Focus will return to pistol competition tomorrow, with the men's 50m and women's 25m events as well as the women's skeet competition.

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