Suzanne Schulting is in prime form heading into day two of the European Championships ©Getty Images

The first day of the 2021 International Skating Union European Short Track Speed Skating Championships saw most - but not all - of the favourites progress in Gdańsk in Poland.

In the women's 1500 metres, The Netherlands Suzanne Schulting is through to the semi-finals, starting off her title defence in impressive fashion.

German Anna Seidel, a bronze medallist from 2020, finished second in her heat to also progress.

Russia's Sofia Prosvirnova and Ekaterina Efremenkova, Belgium's Hanne Desmet, Italy's Amanda Sighel and Dutch skater Xandra Velzeboer all won their respective heats.

Schulting also won her heat in the 500m, as did Italy's 2020 silver medallist Martina Valcepina and Poland's bronze medallist Natalia Maliszewska.

Dutch skaters Velzeboer and Selma Poutsma, Italy's Cynthia Mascitto and Russia's Evgeniya Zakharova won 500m heats also.

Schulting won again in the 1000m heats along with Seidel, Mascitto, Prosvirnova, Efremenkova, Desmet and France's Tifany Huot-Marchand.

In the 3,000m relay, Russia, The Netherlands and France won their quarter-finals to progress alongside Poland, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Shaoang Liu was penalised in the opening round of the 1500m ©Getty Images
Shaoang Liu was penalised in the opening round of the 1500m ©Getty Images

The biggest surprise of day one came in the men's 1500m as the reigning champion Shaoang Liu of Hungary was disqualified in his heat, while his brother Shaolin Sandor Liu made it safely through by winning his race. 

The seven winners of those heats came from six countries, with the others Hungary's John-Henry Krueger, Israel's Vladislav Bykanov, The Netherlands' Itzhak de Laat, Latvia's Roberts Kruzbergs, Russia's Semen Elistratov and Belgium's Stijn Desmet.

De Laat and Bykanov were last year's silver and bronze medallists respectively.

Both Liu brothers had no issues getting through their heats in the 500m, and neither did defending bronze medallist Elistratov.

De Laat, Desmet and Bykanov were also winners in their races, as were the Russian pair of Denis Ayrapetyan and Konstantin Ivliev.

Shaolin Sandor Liu - defending champion over 500m and 1000m - also advanced in the latter distance, along with his brother, Kruzbergs, Krueger, Desmet ,De Laat, Italy's Yuri Confortola and France's Sebastien Lepape.

Finally, in the men's 5,000m relay, Russia, Italy and Hungary won their heats and will be joined in next stage by France, The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Latvia.

The three-day event continues tomorrow.