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Swimming: Peaty takes European breaststroke crown

When Adam Peaty was a child, his fear of water led to tears at bathtime. Now he is the European 100 metres breaststroke champion.

BERLIN: When Adam Peaty was a child, his fear of water led to tears at bathtime. Now he is the European 100-metre breaststroke champion.

The 19-year-old added the European title to the Commonwealth gold he won three weeks ago to lead a British one-two ahead of Ross Murdoch. Peaty also swam the breaststroke leg as Great Britain won the mixed medley relay in a new world record time.

It was a memorable evening for the British who enjoyed their most successful session in their swimming history with seven medals and a world record.

Other winners on the second night of swimming at the Europa-Sportpark were Britain's Chris Walker-Hebborn in the 100m backstroke and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden in the 50m butterfly.

Duane Da Rocha Marce of Spain claimed the 200m backstroke while Olympic 50m freestyle champion Florent Manaudou of France and Yauhen Tsurkin of Belarus shared the men's 50m butterfly title.

On Monday, Peaty swam to within 0.22 of Cameron van der Burgh's world record, lowering his own British mark to 58.68. But on Tuesday night it was all about victory, achieved in 58.96, 0.47 ahead of Murdoch with Lithuania's Giedrius Titenis third. It was a far cry from the child whose fear of water led him to detest the pool.

Such was his determination after the Commonwealth Games that he texted his coach, former swimmer Mel Marshall, to ask if he could return from his break early.

'OBJECTIVE COMPLETED'

He smiled: "I wanted to get back in and feed the hunger and it's paid off. "That was going to be hard getting under the time from last night: 58.6, that was a massive high," he added. "Came here tonight - objective completed. I just train my best and the results are coming now so hopefully I can carry that on for a few more years now and perform my best each time."

Walker-Hebborn also added the European title to his Commonwealth gold in the 100m backstroke. The Briton has shown masses of potential for a few years now, but 2014 has been the year where he has started to do his talent justice.

On Tuesday he was composed, turning fourth at halfway before easing through the field to win in 53.32 ahead of Jeremy Stravius of France and Germany's Jan-Philip Glania.

"I am getting there. I still think there is a lot more to play with and I've still got to drop a couple of tenths to play with the big boys. But I've had a great season, I've got a lot to work on and I move on from here really."

The Great Britain quartet of Walker-Hebborn, Peaty, Jemma Lowe and Fran Halsall won the mixed relay in 3:44.02. The time is a new world record and while the event was only introduced in 2013, a strong Australian squad set a benchmark time of 3:46.52 in Perth in January 2014. But the British quartet, on a high in the final event of the night, lowered it by some way.

World 50m butterfly record holder Sarah Sjostrom is consistently dipping inside 25 seconds and she returned little more than 15 minutes after her 100m freestyle semi-final to win the one-length race in 24.98 ahead of Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen and Halsall .

There were ties for first and third in the men's 50m butterfly, the first final of the night. Olympic 50m freestyle champion Manaudou and Tsurkin touched together for gold in 23.00. Great Britain's Ben Proud and Andriy Govorov of Ukraine shared the bronze in 23.21.

Da Rocha Marce beat Britain's Lizzie Simmonds to the 200m backstroke title, the Spaniard winning by 0.29 in 2:09.37.

In the semi-finals, Femke Heemskerk and Rikke Moeller Pedersen headed the 100m freestyle and 100m breaststroke qualifiers respectively.

Laszlo Cseh was fastest into the 200m individual medley final as he seeks his fifth straight title while world record holder Paul Biedermann leads the 200m freestyle.