Swimming: Four British medals as records tumble

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The Independent Online

The stormy skies gave way to thunderous performances in the pool as another world record lit up the third day of competition at the European Championships, with Britain winning four medals.

Germany's Britta Steffen blew away the 100 metres freestyle world record, striking gold in 53.30sec, 0.12sec inside the mark of the Australian Libby Lenton.

Mel Marshall battled to bronze in the 200m backstroke to start the ball rolling for the British team. Marshall held on in the closing stages in a tight finish that saw her miss silver by just four-hundredths of a second.

With the door open, Rebecca Adlington and Rebecca Cooke won silver and bronze in the 800m free, behind the French starlet Laure Manaudou.

Kirsty Balfour was Britain's hope for gold in the 100m breaststroke. The British record holder qualified fastest for last night's final but finished second behind the Ukraine's Ganny Khlystunova. Kate Haywood finished fifth in an event which promises much for Britain in the years to come.

With fourth-place finishes for David Carry in the 200m freestyle and Gregor Tait in the 200m individual medley, the British team are on course to surpass their goal of seven medals.