Russian pair Valeriya Filenkova and Daria Kulagina's costumes sparkled as much as their performance to the Van Helsing soundtrack in the free duet routine preliminary at the Baku Aquatics Centre this morning (Friday 12 June). They lead the competition with a score of 89.2333, ahead of Ukraine and Spain.
Austrian sisters Anna-Maria Alexandri and Eirini-Marina Alexandri finished a creditable fourth, achieving a high score of 83.8333 to music from Swan Lake.
It was a history-making day for Belarus and host nation Azerbaijan, meanwhile, with Hanna Shulhina and Dominika Tsyplakova becoming the first competitors in the inaugural European Games.
"I had a dream that there was a problem with my make-up and that it was messed up before the competition," revealed Belarusian Tsyplakova, who had previously dreamed she would be the first athlete to compete. "When I got to the competition, there was a mess with my lipstick."
Azerbaijan's Tatyana Nikitina and Yekaterina Valiulina entered the stage to a tremendous reception from the home crowd and scored 71.4333.
"It was a big responsibility and it was hard to handle," said Valiulina of being the first Azerbaijani competitors at the Games. "But the crowd in the stands helped us get through the emotion of the moment."