Triple champion Maria Astashkina became the first world record holder in the pool at the Baku 2015 European Games as she broke the junior 200m breaststroke record before helping set another global milestone in the 4x100m medley relay.
It was a night when Russia's brightest young talents shone again, Austria struck unexpected double gold and Britain's Duncan Scott took the blue riband 100m freestyle crown.
Pride of place, though, went to 16-year-old Astashkina, who clocked 2 minutes 23.06 seconds, taking six-hundredths of a second off the world junior record 'target time' set up by FINA last year.
"I wasn't expecting to beat the record, I was just trying to go faster than I did in the semi-final," said the girl from Penza.
Four-time European junior champion Astashkina destroyed the field by more than 10m, with Giulia Verona of Italy taking silver and 14-year-old Layla Black, the youngest member of the British swim team, claiming bronze.
Having already taken the 50m sprint on Tuesday, Astashkina teamed up with fellow Russian gold medallists Mariia Kameneva, Polina Egorova and Arina Openysheva less than two hours after her 200m breaststroke victory to win the medley relay. The Russian quartet dominated against silver medallists Netherlands and bronze winners Britain in a world junior record of 4:03.22, beating the mark of 4:03.44 set by the US in August 2014. The tireless Openysheva collected her fourth gold to go with one silver.
Asked why she was so dominant at the discipline, the supremely confident Astashkina said: "I work hard, I work a lot and I believe in myself."
Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
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