Victory in the concluding women's 4x100m relay saw Germany top the medals table at the European Athletics Championships in Munich ©Getty Images

The hosts finished top of the medals table at the home European Athletics Championships as its women’s 4x100m relay team won the last event here, bringing the German total of gold to seven - one more than Britain, who failed to get the baton round in what was effectively a sprint shoot-out for the overall bragging rights.

Third-leg runner Gina Luckenkemper, winner of the individual title by five thousandths of a second on a tumultuous Tuesday (August 16) night was the idol again as she supercharged the German effort before passing on a lead that Rebekka Haase maintained despite heavy pressure from Poland’s Ewa Svoboda to earn victory in 42.34.

Poland took silver in a national record of 42.61, with bronze going to Italy in 43.03, by a difference of six thousandths of a second over The Netherlands.

By the time Luckenkemper got underway in lane three, the British and French challenge in her two left hand lanes had disappeared as both failed to negotiate the second exchange.

Britain had been brought level with Germany on six golds in the preceding track race, the men’s 4x100m relay team.

The favourites lived up to their potential as they secured gold in a Championship record of 37.67 from France, who clocked 37.94, and Poland, who ran a national record of 38.15 to beat The Netherlands, who finished in 38.25, to bronze.

Fifth-placed Switzerland also set a national record, finishing in 38.36.

After taking the baton from lead runner Jeremiah Azu, Britain’s Zharnel Hughes, 100m silver medallist and 200m champion here, ran a lightning leg to give a big advantage to Jona Efoloko, who handed over to anchor leg runner Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, and the individual silver medallist brought the baton home with huge efficiency.

As it turned out, this was the closest France got to a gold at these Championships, in which they have not failed to win at least once since 1982. Not an ideal marker two years out from the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Javelin thrower Julian Weber had this Olympic arena roaring with satisfaction shortly before the concluding relays as he produced a fourth-round effort of 87.66m to win gold in an event traditionally coveted by Germany - stepping up in the absence of Johannes Vetter, second on the all-time list, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

The roar arrived as the spear travelled on through the night sky. Before the distance was announced Weber had sunk onto his knees, overcome with emotion. He knew it was good, and it was just enough to take over the lead from the Czech Republic’s Olympic silver medallist Jakub Valdlejch, who had thrown 87.28 in round two.

When Vadlejch ran over the line on his last effort, sending his spear out to a pointlessly huge distance, Weber’s victory was assured and he began a lumbering dance that was thankfully superseded by much hugging and flag-waving.

Finland’s Lassi Etelatalo earned bronze with a fifth-round personal best of 86.44m to displace the Czech Republic’s 39-year-old world champion of 2013, Vitezslav Vesely, from the podium. Vesely, sportsman that he is, was the first to congratulate the young Finn.

Ukrainian high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh, twice Olympic silver medallist and world bronze medallist last month, earned her first big outdoor gold on countback from 30-year-old Marija Vukovic, who earned Montenegro’s first medal at these Championships after both had cleared 1.95m.

Bronze went to Serbia’s 17-year-old Angelina Topic, who headed Britt Weerman of The Netherlands and Ukraine’s Iryna Gerashchenko on countback after all three had cleared 1.93m.

Yaroslava Mahuchikh of Ukraine claimed women's high jump gold on countback at the European Championships ©Getty Images
Yaroslava Mahuchikh of Ukraine claimed women's high jump gold on countback at the European Championships ©Getty Images

"I would like to dedicate this medal to the Ukrainian people," said Mahuchikh, who left her home city of Dnipropetrovsk under Russian bombardment in March in order to train and compete in Europe.

"This is my first gold medal at major championships. I left my home in March and it was difficult since then. Since then I want to do something for my country.

"Our people wait for good news. It is a pleasure for them to see my gold medal. I want to show that we are strong people, a strong nation and that we can fight until the end.

"I love this medal. I want to thank the Ukrainian team, all the people who supported me. This is a fantastic atmosphere here in Munich.

"I guess now I will start to collect more gold medals. I hope to go back home in September, I left my country in March and I miss my home and my friends and my father."

Spain’s Mario Garcia added European 800m gold to his world indoor title here as he held off an intense challenge down the home straight from Britain’s world 1500m champion Jake Wightman to win in a personal best 1:44.85.

Wightman, eager to show his 800m credentials in Munich, was operating at maximum power in the closing stages, but arguably paid the price for having to come round the outside after getting boxed in around the final bend.

By that time the Spaniard who mimes kick-starting a motorcycle before every race was on his bike and away for his second title of the season.

Wightman completed his medal set for the season after world gold and Commonwealth bronze with silver in a season’s best of 1:44.91.

Ireland’s Mark English replicated his performance in the Zurich 2014 edition of these Championships as he took bronze in 1:45.19 ahead of Sweden’s Andreas Kramer, who clocked 1:45.38.

"I am very pleased with gold," said Garcia. “I was expecting a much slower race, but it wasn't so, I just went with it, and decided to control it from the start. 

"When I decided to take the lead, I knew I had to give it my all, because towards the end of the race, that's when you have less energy, so I need to get this right."

Wightman said: "I was very close to the gold and I would be very glad to get that but still I am pretty happy with the silver. 

"I was not quite close enough in the last straight and it is tough when you are not that close with a strong opponents. 

"I did not manage to stay strong enough to pass over Garcia. This is a tough race with lots of tactics."

Poland’s Pia Skrzyszowska clocked 12.53 to win a 100m hurdles race where Britain’s Cindy Sember, fastest qualifier in 12.62, came to grief over the second hurdle and finished last.

There were no such misjudgements from the Pole, second fastest qualifier in 12.66, who started well and was fluid over the hurdles to finish well clear of Hungary’s Luka Kozak, who equalled the national record of 12.69 she had set in the semi-finals.

Bronze went to Switzerland’s Ditaji Kambundji, whose older sister Mujinga has won 100m silver and 200m gold at these Championships, as she finished in 12.74, one hundredth of a second in front of Nadine Visser of The Netherlands.

A sedate men’s 10,000m final, in which the field reached the hallway point in 13:54.20 finished with a dramatic chase around the final bend as Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa caught the man who had established a 15 metres lead with two laps remaining and extended it to 15m at the bell, Norway’s Zerei Mezngi.

The Ethiopian-born Crippa, who won bronze in this event four years ago and had finished third in the 5,000m earlier in the week won in 27:46.13, with a weary Mezngi making it to the line for silver in a personal best of 27:46.94 just ahead of the jubilant, fast-finishing Yann Schrub, who claimed bronze in a personal best of 27:47.13 after moving clear of team-mate Jimmy Gressier, who was fourth in 27:49.84.

Crippa said: "Compared to four years ago, in Berlin 2018, I feel I have changed a lot - especially my mindset, I am much stronger mentally than I was in the past. 

"I run that last lap thinking that I had to look out for Jimmy Gressier - I knew he was the one I had to look out for. Although he was the big favourite to win this race, it looks like tonight it was my night, and not [Jimmy] Gressier's night."

Fifth, sixth and seventh place finishers Pietro Riva of Italy, Efrem Gidey of Ireland and Magnus Myhre of Norway recorded respective personal bests of 27:50.51, 27:59.22 and 28:02.18.

But it was not a happy night for Britain’s Sam Atkin, who added to an unfortunate sequence as he dropped out in the second half of the race, as he had at the Commonwealth Games and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.