Italy, Poland and Russia all won gold medals on the opening day of the World University Speed Skating Championships in Minsk.
Fourteen nations are competing during four days of competition in the Minsk Arena.
Davide Ghiotto, 19th at last month's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, won the men's 5,000 metres for Italy.
He set a time of 6min 30.66sec, only a second slower than he managed in South Korea, to beat compatriot Michele Malfatti.
Malfatti clocked 6:36.91 and Kazakhstan's Dmitry Morozov crossed in 6:42.94 for the bronze medal.
"I think for me this race was easier than for other participants as I have already competed on this stadium during the World Cup," said the winner.
"Nevertheless sportsmen have very high level, just as the whole championship.
"I like Belarus and Minsk very much.
"Unfortunately, during the contest I don’t have a chance to appreciate all hospitality of counties, but thankfully for this championship I could stay in Belarus for a week."
Poland's Paulien Verhaar claimed the first gold medal of the week in the women's 3,000m.
She managed 4:21.11 to beat The Netherlands' Pauliena Verhaar, second in 4:22.53, and Russia's Elena Eranina, third a further second behind.
Russia's Uliana Kudlenko, Elena Samkova, Elena Eranina won the women's team sprint in 1:33.33.
They beat Aleksandra Kapruziak, Kaja Ziomek and Andzelika Wojcik of Poland by just two hundredths of a second in a thrilling dual.
Dutch trio Nienke Kleinsman, Myron Koops and Lina Miedema took the bronze medal in 1:34.98.