Kolesnikov breaks 50m back world record, Peaty defends Euro title

Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov broke his own 50m backstroke world record at the European swimming championships on Tuesday as Britain’s Olympic champion Adam Peaty took his fourth successive 100m breaststroke gold.

Kolesnikov touched out in 23.80 seconds in the non-Olympic distance, beating the previous record of 23.93 he had set in Monday’s semi-finals, for a second 10,000 euro bonus.

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World record holder Peaty won his event with a time of 57.66, 0.44 quicker than Dutch silver medallist Arno Kamminga (58.10) – the only other man to have swum the 100m breaststroke in under 58 seconds.

Britain’s James Wilby took the bronze in 58.58.

“That was good, it was a very tactical race. That’s right at the edge of what I can do mid-season,” said Peaty, who first won gold in the distance in 2014 and has defended the title ever since.

“Coming out here, I just wanted to enjoy it. It’s just a testament to how powerful my stroke is feeling, so come the Olympics, it’s hopefully going to be a good show,” added the reigning world and Olympic champion.

“It’s going to be a tough battle in Tokyo. There’s going to be a lot of guys going low 58s or 57 high, and it’s going to be an interesting time for 100m breaststroke.”

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Peaty set a world record of 56.88 at the 2019 world championships.

Two golds were awarded in the women’s 100m butterfly after a tie between France’s Marie Wattel and Greece’s Anna Ntountounaki in the absence of Sweden’s injured Olympic champion Sarah Sjostrom.

Dutch veteran Ranomi Kromowidjojo won the 50m freestyle, 13 years after her first European gold and with a time (23.97) quicker than her London 2012 Olympic gold-winning performance (24.05).

After two days, Britain tops the medals table with three golds, ahead of Russia 2-1 on silvers.

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