Maria Astashkina power to a world junior record over 200m breaststroke ©Getty Images

A finish of just two tenths of a second over 1500 metres and two world junior records topped the bill on the third evening of European Games swimming finals here as Russia continued to dominate with four more titles.

With only junior athletes competing and capacity here less than a quarter full, it was hardly the spectacle or the atmosphere of other sports on the programme, but some exciting races went some way towards livening proceedings.

After Russia's Danlil Pakhomov claimed the opening gold of the night in the 200m butterfly, there was a moment of quality as his team-mate Maria Astashkina broke the world junior record with a stunning 200m breaststroke effort.

The 16-year-old, who has already claimed the gold medal in the 50m, finished in 2:23.06 to take 0.06 seconds off the time set by Ukraine's Viktoriya Solnceva in 2013.

She was almost three seconds ahead of her nearest rival Giacomo Carini of Italy, while Matthias Marcou of France claimed third.

While Astashkina produced the best standard, the best drama came over 1500m when Italy’s Sveva Schiazzano, seemingly out of contention earlier in the race, held off a last lap burst from Hungary's Janka Johasz to win in 16min 40.17sec.

Johasz touched in 16:40.39 , while Marina Atalaya Castro of Spain finished in third place after being among the leaders for virtually the whole race.

Duncan Scott claimed British gold over 100m freestyle, before taking a silver medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay ©Getty Images
Duncan Scott claimed British gold over 100m freestyle, before taking a silver medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay ©Getty Images

Britain enjoyed more success, as Duncan Scott powered to a 100m freestyle victory in a Games record 49.43.

Meanwhile, after winning no gold medals for 12 days in Baku, Austria won two in a matter of minutes.

First, Sebastian Steffan won the 200m individual medley in 2:01.39 before Caroline Pilhatsch produced a superb second half effort to take the 50m backstroke in 28.60.

It was particularly poignant given the awful collision involving three Austrian synchronised swimmers who were hit by a bus while walking through the Athletes' Village before the Games began, which left 15-year-old Vanessa Sahinovic with severe injuries.

Elsewhere, there was a men’s 50m breaststroke victory for Andrius Sidlauskas of Lithuania in a time of 27.81 while Russia ended the night as they had started it, with two gold medals.

After being a close tussle for the first two legs, Russia pulled ahead of Britain and Germany to win the men's 4x200m freestyle relay in 7:16.08.

Their female counterparts won the 4x100m medley relay in 4:03.22, a second world junior mark of the night, four-and-a-half seconds ahead of minor medallists The Netherlands and Britain.

Record breaker Astashkina swam the breaststroke leg for the winning team, and will now target a fourth gold in the 100m event.

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