Italy were crowned champions at the European Athletics Team Championships for the first time in Silesia ahead of reigning champions and hosts Poland and four-time winners Germany.
In a new-look format for the event, all three divisions were held under one roof in the same location across six days as part of the third edition of the European Games in Krakow-Małopolska.
Ireland were the first champions to be anointed in the 3rd Division where Albania's Luiza Gega also created history by becoming the joint most successful athlete in European Athletics Team Championships history, her wins in the 5000m and 3000m steeplechase taking her tally up to 11 victories.
Hungary dominated the 2nd Division, winning the title ahead of Ukraine and Lithuania who pipped Slovenia for the third promotion spot by an agonising 0.5 points. Both Hungary and Lithuania will be making their debuts in the top division of the European Athletics Team Championships in 2025.
In the main spectacle which occupied the last three days of the championships, Italy improved on their runner-up finish from two years ago with a dominant victory. The Italians won seven of the 37 events and tallied a score of 426.5 points ahead of Poland (402.5 points) and Germany (387.5. points) with Spain fourth with 352 points.
At the other end of the table, Norway, Türkiye and Belgium occupied the last three places and were relegated into the 2nd Division in 2025. The Belgian team were relegated despite the best efforts of shot putter-turned hurdler Jolien Boumkwo who garnered worldwide admiration and attention after stepping in as a last minute replacement for the injured Anne Zagre in the 100m hurdles.
Individual highlights across the six days included Femke Bol from the newly promoted Netherlands winning the 400m in 49.82 to smash her championship record of 50.37 and Slovenia's Kristjan Ceh winning the discus in the 2nd Division with 69.94m to break the championship record held by his coach Gerd Kanter.
The 2025 edition of the European Athletics Team Championships will be held in Madrid, Spain.