Giulia Steingruber scooped double gold for Switzerland on a day of 10 individual artistic finals ©Getty Images

Switzerland's Giulia Steingruber scooped floor and vault titles today as nine countries earned victories on an action-packed day of artistic gymnastics finals here at the European Games, while Oleg Stepko provided a moment for the home crowd to savour with gold on the parallel bars.

Stepko, the 21-year-old Ukrainian-born star who won the 2013 European bars final for his country of birth before switching nationality to Azerbaijan last year, finished the Games with five medals, adding a pommel horse silver and a vault bronze to the team and individual all-around minor medals he won earlier in the week.

But it was the parallel bars on which his best chance was always likely to come, and as the crowd level rose, he swung, hauled and flipped his way to a superb score of 15.773. 

It was left to the very final competitor David Belyavskiy to snatch gold away and, despite a great effort, the Russian fell short with 15.700, leading to loud celebrations of a kind not seen outside the wrestling or taekwondo competitions at these Games so far.

Oleg Stepko secured three medals today, crowning the day with gold on the parallel bars ©Getty Images
Azerbaijan's Oleg Stepko secured three medals today, crowning the day with gold on the parallel bars ©Getty Images

It was Steingruber who was the day's greatest star, though, with the two-time European champion a class above the rest of the field to win gold on the vault.

Russia's Seda Tutkhalyan came closest to defeating her, but not close enough with the final leap of the competition.

Steingruber, 21, then triumphed once again on the floor with a score of 14.266, a surprise considering she had never won a major title before in this secondary discipline.

That gave her bragging rights, today at least, over Russian star Ailya Mustafina, who added floor silver to a dominant gold she won tonight in unevern bars and the further victories she secured in team and all-around competitions earlier in the week.

Lieke Wevers of The Netherlands claimed the third and final place on the floor podium, meaning the three medallists in this event were the three winners of the other finals earlier in the evening.

Performing last, Wevers held her nerve as well as her balance with a score of 14.220 in the beam event to edge out Andreea Iridon of Romania, who also took bronze on the bars, as well as Steingruber, who secured what turned out to be a third podium finish of the day.

Leike Wevers secured Dutch gold in the beam as well as bronze on the floor ©Getty Images
Leike Wevers secured Dutch gold in the beam as well as bronze on the floor ©Getty Images

Elsewhere there was a first gold medal in any sport here in Baku for both Slovenia and Greece.

First, Saso Bertoncelj of Slovenia won the pommel horse, triumphing with a strong 14.966 in the absence of the likes of Britain's European champion and Olympic silver medallist, Louis Smith.

ThenEleftherios Petrounias continued Greece's historical strength in the rings.

In one of toughest tests of strength, stamina and suppleness in the Games, it was fitting that the nation which invented the Olympic Games should emerge on top.

Petrounias was duly presented with gold by Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos, also chair of the European Olympic Committees' Baku 2015 Coordination Commission.

Ukraine's all-around gold medallist Oleg Verniaiev was another winner tonight, claiming glory on the vault after defeating his former team-mate Stepko.

There was nearly another Greek victory as in the final event of the day but 2001 and 2002 world champion Visios Maras was pushed into second place by 2007 global gold medallist, Fabian Hambuechen of Germany.

Russia's David Belyavskiy claimed his second medal of the day with the bronze. 

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