European Games 2015: Swiss mountain biker makes history with first gold

    Switzerland's Jolanda Neff, the first gold medal winner at the inaugural European Games, is flanked by the other medalists in the women's mountain bike event.

    (CNN)Swiss competitors dominated the first day of the European Games with mountain bike star Jolanda Neff creating her own slice of sporting history.

    The world champion won the first gold to be awarded at the inaugural Games as she took the cross country race in fine style from compatriot Kathrin Stirnemann, with Maja Wloszczowska of Poland taking bronze in the grueling seven-lap race in Baku.
    "It is an amazing event here at the first European Games and to win the first gold medal feels amazing," Neff told the official Games website.
      In the men's mountain bike race, Nino Schurter then spearheaded a Swiss sweep of the medals.

      Swiss triple gold

      The pre-race favorite finished in a time of one hour 41 minutes and four seconds to come home 13 seconds clear of Fluckiger.
      To cap a dream start for the Swiss, its 2012 Olympic champion Nicola Spirig took gold in the women's triathlon event at Bilgah Beach just outside the Azerbaijan capital.
      Spirig, returning to top form, also secured a qualifying place for the 2016 Olympics in Rio where she hopes to defend her title.
      Rachel Klamer of the Netherlands was left trailing by over a minute in the silver medal position.
      Sweden's Lisa Norden, outsprinted by Spirig for the gold in a dramatic finish to the women's triathlon in London, took the bronze.
      "To have won a qualifying spot for the Olympics in Rio makes this a perfect day for me," said Spirig.

      Hosts triumph

      Host Azerbaijan also won its first gold medal when Firdovsi Farzaliyev defeated Italy's Luca Maresca in the men's karate in the