Carlotta Gilli was one of seven Italian winners on day one in Madeira ©Getty Images

Italian athletes won seven gold medals on the opening day of the European Para Swimming Championships.

Twenty-five finals were contested in Madeira, with Russia's Andrei Nikolaev the first European champion crowned in the men's S8 400 metres freestyle.

Russia finished the day with four gold medals but that was eclipsed by Italy.

Stefano Raimondi, Carlotta Gilli, Francesco Bocciardo, Emmanuele Marigliano, Giulia Terzi, Xenia Francesca Palazzo and Alessia Scortechini all won gold medals for Italy, with the nation also earning six silvers and four bronzes.

Terzi was perhaps the most impressive of the bunch, setting a new European record of 3min 8.12sec in the women's SM7 200m individual medley.

Belarus' Ihar Boki, who won seven gold medals at the 2018 edition of this event in Dublin, underlined his ability by setting a new world record in the men's S13 100m butterfly final - 53:72sec.

That gold medal may not the last Boki wins in Portugal this week.

Spain's Sarai Gascon was another notable winner, collecting a 15th European gold medal in the women’s SB9 100m breaststroke.

Renata Pinto won a bronze medal for the host nation in that race.

The open European Championships - where athletes from outside the continent are also permitted to compete as they prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics - continue tomorrow.