Minsk (AFP) - France's Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres claimed their maiden European pairs figure skating title after winning the free programme on Thursday.
The pair, winners of December's ISU Grand Prix finals in Vancouver, earned their personal best mark of 149.11 points for a solid performance in the free routine, collecting 225.66 points overall.
"We've made history," Cipres said at a packed 15,000-seat arena.
"But we're gonna keep on going. This is not the finish for us."
Russia's two-time European champions Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov finshed second, almost seven points behind.
Another Russian duo Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii, who were making their debut, were third, 13.54 points further back.
Earlier on Thursday, Russia's Mikhail Kolyada swept into the lead after the men's short programme with danger man and six-time defending champion Javier Fernandez over eight points behind in third.
The 24-year-old Kolyada, third at last year's European championships, earned a personal best mark of 100.49 points for an almost flawless presentation of his "I Belong to You -- Mon Coeur s'ouvre a ta voix" by Muse in his short routine.
"It was a good performance," Kolyada told Russian TV. "Naturally there were some slight mistakes but I'm pleased with what I've done today.
"I'd say that now, when I overcame all of my injuries, I'm in a fighting mood. And I'll try to keep it until Saturday's free skating."
Alexander Samarin, who was sixth at last year's Euros, also got his personal best mark of 91.97 for his "Cold Blood" by Dave Not Dave.
He was just 0.13pts ahead of Spanish veteran Fernandez, who announced his decision to hang up his skates this season.
The 27-year-old 2018 Olympic bronze medallist and two-time world champion, who is targeting his seventh successive continental crown to equal the record of Russia's skating icon Yevgeny Plushenko, committed some costly mistakes in his "Malaguena" short programme.