Austriaâ€™s golden 15 minutes
Austrian swimmers produced big news on the third day of the swimming competitions at the European Games in Baku by clinching two titles in a span of 15 minutes. Italy also enjoyed a fine afternoon with a gold and three silvers, while the Russians were as outstanding as it was usual in recent years at the junior Europeans, their anthem was played four times on Thursday and as a bonus Maria Astashkina broke the junior WR in the 200m breaststroke, and later again, as member of the triumphant 4x100m medley relay.
Austrian swimmers rarely hit the headlines, but it might happen more in the future, provided their talented youngsters keep up developing in the years to come. First, Sebastian Steffan won the 200m IM, producing a fine swim as he turned 4th at the half-way mark but rushed ahead and passed all his rivals, including the two British finalists, Jarvis Parkinson and Martyn Walton who had to settle for the minor spoils. Then in 15 minutes came the next Austrian gold, courtesy of Caroline Pilhatsch who reached the wall 0.1sec ahead of Franceâ€™s Pauline Mathieu.
Italy can also look back on a good day: after earning silver medals in three events, the azzuris could finally cheer for a winning performance. Sveva Schiazzano switched gears at midway, took the lead at 1100m and managed to save 0.22sec from her advantage, though Hungaryâ€™s Janka Juhasz nearly caught her at the end.
The blue-ribband eventâ€™s title went to GB as Duncan Scott clocked the only sub-50sec effort in the menâ€™s 100m free. Andrius Sidlauskas secured Lithuniaâ€™s first title in the menâ€™s 50m breast.
The Russians boosted their medal tally again, they topped the respective fields in four events. In the individual races Daniil Pakhomov came up with a convincing performance in the 200m fly, while Maria Astashkina was a cut above the rest in the womenâ€™s 200m breast. And a real cut as she set a new junior World Record, the first in Baku. The day ended with Russia bagging both relay titles on offer, their triumphs were never in question throughout the races, in fact, their medley relay â€“ with Astashkina back in the pool â€“ also bettered the junior global mark.
European Games â€“ Swimming â€“ Medallists, Day 3
Duncan Scott (GBR)â€‹ 49.43
Alessandro Miressi (ITA)â€‹ 50.03
Vladislav Kozlov (RUS)â€‹ 50.11
Andrius Sidlauskas (LTU)â€‹ 27.81
Nikola Obrovac (CRO)â€‹ 27.89
Tobias Bjerg (DEN)â€‹ 28.04
Daniil Pakhomov (RUS)â€‹ 1:57.04
Giacomo Carini (ITA)â€‹ 1:57.46
Matthias Marsau (FRA)â€‹ 1:58.96
Sebastian Steffan (AUT)â€‹2:01.39
Jarvis Parkinson (GBR)â€‹2:01.94
Martyn Walton (GBR)â€‹2:02.24
Great Britain â€‹7:19.36
Sveva Schiazzano (ITA) â€‹16:40.17
Janka Juhasz (HUN)â€‹ 16:40.39
Marina Castro (ESP)â€‹ 16:46.16
Caroline Pilhatsch (AUT)â€‹ 28.60
Pauline Mathieu (FRA)â€‹ 28.70
Mariia Kameneva (RUS)â€‹ 28.77
Maria Astashkina (RUS)â€‹ 2:23.06 â€“ junior WR
Giulia Verona (ITA)â€‹ 2:25.91
Layla Black (GBR)â€‹ 2:27.61
Russiaâ€‹ 4:03.22 â€“ junior WR
Great Britain â€‹4:09.10
All athletes are also considered junior European Championships medallists in 2015.
Press release from LEN