Evaun Williams and Iris Holder win titles on day one of the European Masters Championships in Venice

Evaun Williams is expected to dominate all the W80 throws and she got off to an excellent start on the first day of the European Masters Championships on the outskirts of Venice to win Britain’s first gold medal, while Iris Holder won gold and Netherlands’ Rietje Dijkman set a world record.

It was generally a quiet day with no track finals and the opening ceremony breaking up the action but Britain got off to an encouraging start in hot conditions in Jesolo with the temperatures well into the 30s.

The multiple world champion and world record-holder Williams won the shot put by nearly two metres with 9.53m. The worst of her six throws was 9.14m and the runner-up Ewa Frackowiak of Poland threw just 7.67m.

The other British victory came from W75 triple jumper Holder, whose win was convincing in a different manner. Helgard Houben of Germany opened with 6.33m to Holder’s 6.26m but the Briton achieved her winning effort in round two with 6.42m.

Her third (6.39m), fifth (6.40m) and sixth (6.34m) were also marginally in excess of the German’s best mark and it was probably the 78-year-old’s best result since winning the World W70 title in Finland in 2012.

Just missing out on gold for Britain was Lucy Marshall in the W35 hammer. Marshall took the lead with a 60.25m throw in round two but Vania Sofia Sousa Silva of Portugal snatched gold off her by just two centimetres with a 60.27m fourth round throw.

Marshall, who set a 63.47m PB at Loughborough last month and ranks fifth nationally as a senior, was competing in her first masters international event.

Steve Linsell has been winning major masters high jump medals for over a decade and he matched his M50 silver from Aarhus in 2017 with a M55 second place with a 1.70m leap as Germany’s Ruediger Weber won with 1.76m.

In the W80 triple jump Netherlands’ Rietje Dijkman added a centimetre to the world record with a 7.37m leap.

Keith Newton won a M50 triple jump bronze with 12.48m as Italy’s Michele Tiko took gold with 12.67m.

In the 100m heats, Britain’s M35 Jonathan Browne (10.85), M80 Anthony Treacher (15.80) and W65 Caroline Powell (14.91) qualified fastest for the final while M60 John Wright (12.52) was easily fastest in the heats.

In the 1500m heats, M35 Mike Cummings (4:10.43), M40 Matt Barnes (4:15.93), M50 Mark Symes (4:26.14) and M55 Guy Bracken (4:38.46) plus M60 John Thomson (4:51.36) all produced the fastest times to qualify for Saturday’s finals.

Surprisingly Finland, with seven golds, top the medal table on day one and these included golds for Senni Sopanen in the W90 triple jump and shot.

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