Germany, the first nation to win the Super League of the European Athletics Team Championships five years ago, are celebrating again after taking the title on a glorious afternoon in front of their own fans in Braunschweig on Sunday.
They started the second day with a narrow lead, but they were crowned the champions even before the final event when Malaika Mihambo, just 20 and one of the youngest members of their squad, won the long jump to secure an unassailable lead over Russia, who were chasing a fourth successive crown.
"Being European team champion, yes this feels great," said Mihambo. "Simply to be part of it, part of the team."
The event could not have asked for a more glowing endorsement from someone so young who not only had embraced the occasion but had produced the winning moment.
It is an afternoon she will never forget.
The Germans had treated their fans to some unforgettable athletics all weekend, from the time David Storl won the shot put in the cold of Saturday morning.
Their team combined to score 371 points from Russia with 359.5 and France, making the top three for the first time, third with 295.
But amid their delight, there was disappointment for the Czech Republic, with 208.5, the Netherlands with 208 and Turkey with 137.5, who were all relegated.
At the finish, the crowd stood clapping as the music blared out to greet the top three teams who climbed onto the podium as they were greeted by European Athletics President Hansjörg Wirz and the official dignitaries as the trophy was handed to the German team captain and discus champion Robert Harting.
He raised the trophy three times in the air and the rest of the team - and the crowd - joined in before the German national anthem boomed around the Eintracht-Stadion ahead of their jubilant lap of honour.
What a second day it had been after Germany had led overnight with 195 points from Russia with 192, France with 161, Great Britain with 158.5 and Poland with 153.5.
It was always going to be close, but even by the dramatic standards of this event, the way the pendulum of power swung was amazing.
There were just two events left to be decided when the realisation came through that Germany were the champions.
They had led with 349 from Russia with 340.5 ahead of the end of the women's long jump and the men's 4x400m relay.
Would it go down to the last race?
The answer was no as Mihambo secured Germany the title with a European lead and Championship record of 6.90m, a distance that was even the more sweeter as she jumped it twice, in the first and third rounds.
Gone was the best from Leiria in 2009 of 6.83m by Portugal's Naide Gomes as Mihambo took some scalp to win the event itself as she beat France's Eloyse Lesueur, the European champion and a double winner of the European Athletics Team Championships.
She was second with 6.87m while back in sixth, Russia's Olga Kucherenko's best of 6.43m was not enough to put her through to the final round.
It meant Russia could score no more than seven points from the event which Germany took 12 and they were now into a 13.5 lead which could not be touched no matter what happened in the last event.
What a day for Mihambo. "I cannot believe it," she said. "To jump 6.90m twice - this is incredible and wonderful. It could not have gone better."
The rest of her teammates would probably say the same as they celebrate their glory.
Courtesy: European Athletics
Photo: Getty Images
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